You may ask how on earth are they related..not much, except I am blogging on the latter while sitting surrounded by the former 🙂
I live in central NJ and a lot of us residents of this area have noticed solar panels being set up across all towns. I thought it would be fun to research how solar panels actually work, where are the cost savings, parties involved etc.
So here are the basics 101 on Solar panel and how they work:
Definition: Solar panels are devices that take the light of the sun and convert it into energy suitable for use in your home. They’re usually placed on the roof of your house and connected to your heating system. The ones I saw on the road while driving to work where connected to electric poles. So I guess, they were collecting solar energy and converting it directly into electricity (a very very lay man’s view of how it works!)
A photovoltaic (PV) system is relatively simple. The solar panels usually generate DC current. An inverter converts the DC current to AC current, which is what we use in our homes. This system is connected to the utility grid. During the daytime, the PV system will generate more electricity than we use and the extra will flow out to the grid. When the sun goes down our PV production stops, but we still need electricity and we get it from the grid.
The benefits of solar panel installation include reducing CO2 (less coal used to generate electricity) and protecting trees. In one minute, the sun gives the earth enough energy to meet the earth’s power needs for a year.
Most people in US think California is the most green state, but after researching a little, I was surprised and happy to know: “..the state of NJ now has the most solar installations in the country per square mile, surpassing California by nearly two to one.” Way to go!