Solar energy is undoubtedly the most practical renewable energy source for residential use. There is a list of benefits from harnessing the sun's energy to power your home, including:
- Save money by reducing or eliminating your electric bill
- Generating clean, pollution-free electricity
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Fix the cost of electricity over the next forty years
- Pool your extra power into the local utility network (net metering)
- Requires little maintenance
So how do solar panels work? Solar panels in Bakersfield CA absorb the sun's energy, which is then converted into electricity that can be used or stored. When excess power is produced, this excess electricity is automatically remeasured (sold) to the utility grid in a process called net metering. At night or in the darker months of winter, that energy returned can be tapped into.
Solar systems are sized according to the customer's needs, based on how much electricity the family consumes regardless of the size of the home. For example, two homes with the same square foot area can have very different energy uses and can require systems of different sizes.
The actual amount of electricity produced depends on the amount of solar energy that reaches the solar panels. The optimally located array will face south and have nothing to obstruct sunlight from reaching the solar panels. Actual system production can easily be calculated by site analysis from a knowledgeable solar consultant.
Some manufacturers, such as SunPower Corporation, also provide monitoring kits that can be connected to an existing computer network and can show you exactly how much power the system is producing. Additionally, SunPower has created a free solar energy monitoring app for use with Apple products (iPhone, iPad, etc.) so that energy production can be monitored on the go.