Residential Solar Power makes it possible to become independent from the grid. It is also a way of reducing the cost of electric bills. When we talk about electricity from the sun for home use, what comes into mind are photovoltaic cells and solar water heaters. While the heater is not a producer of electricity, the savings it creates by using sunlight to heat water can be substantial

A lot of us are getting used to photovoltaic panels mounted on rooftops especially in areas that get a lot of sunshine. Photovoltaic energy is becoming popular because there is already a lot of consciousness regarding the environmental effects on the conventional generation of electricity. Coal is the biggest type of fuel for most electric plants but the technology is highly pollutive.

It can be very expensive to connect to the grid in remote areas. In this setting it makes a lot of sense to invest in residential solar power. In cities and other places where the grid is accessible, the cost of generation using sunlight is more expensive than buying electricity from the grid. However we should take note that using sunlight as a means of generating electricity is becoming less expensive each day.

The silicon wafer is the heart of most residential photovoltaic power systems. These wafer are made in such a way to maximize the Photovoltaic Effect. Because each silicon cell only produces a small amount of direct current electricity, they have to be assembled in banks. For a solar power system to work, it requires two other components. The first one is the storage medium and the other is the inverter.

The purpose of the storage medium is to make electricity available especially at night. The most common type of storage device is the rechargeable battery. The storage battery only stores direct current electricity.

The other component is responsible for converting DC into a form that is usable by most home appliances. That component’s name is the inverter. An inverter is also a transformer because household appliances commonly work on 110 volts. The voltage stored in the battery is brought up to 110 volts.

A recent development in electric grid technology is the grid-tied system. When you are a producer of electricity you have the option of connecting to the grid. The other users of the grid will use some of the electricity you generated. At night, you get electricity from the grid instead of storage batteries. The best thing about this system is that if you make more electricity than what you consume, the grid will pay you for the surplus. Now that is great news.

While it is true that solar power is not new technology, it sort of stagnated because there was no economic incentive for it. For a long time coal and oil powered plants were so cheap to operate. Now with increasing cell efficiency and economies of scale, the difference in cost of producing your own electricity versus buying it from the grid is getting smaller. Now, isn’t it time you go solar?