Solar power is a type of energy conversion that turns sunlight into electricity. Solar panels can accomplish this by using something called the photovoltaic effect.
This allows sunlight to be used to power electrical appliances in homes and businesses, such as computers, fridges, cookers, light circuits, heating systems, and more.
How Does Solar Power Work?
Solar power can work by using either photovoltaics or by using concentrated solar power.
For homes and businesses, photovoltaics is the most efficient way to produce electricity for use in your home’s grid. Photovoltaic cells are able to convert light into DC electricity. This DC electricity is then converted by a solar system to AC electricity for use in residences or businesses.
A common misconception is that you need consistent, full-spectrum, direct sunlight for photovoltaic cells to work when this isn’t the case. Ultraviolet light (UV light), for example, can penetrate cloud cover. This UV light can still be used by photovoltaic cells to generate electricity (even if it is less efficient).
How Can Solar Power Be Used In Homes?
For homeowners, even in countries such as the UK with regular cloud cover, solar power can help you save on energy bills.
Solar panels or solar tiles can be mounted on the roof of a home and linked to your home’s power grid. If your solar setup is large enough, it will be able to power your entire home and all your electrical appliances.
It is often the case that solar setups for domestic settings will produce extra electricity that can be sold back to the national grid.
Solar panels will allow your home to be fully self-sufficient for electricity, meaning you won’t need to depend upon the national grid for power.
How Can Solar Power Be Used In Businesses?
Business owners have a unique opportunity to cut their business’s carbon footprint, save money, and in some cases, farm solar power.
If you own the building you operate your business from, installing solar panels is a good way to reduce outgoings in the form of slashing how much you pay for your business’s energy bills. In some cases, you may be able to rid yourself of an energy bill and expand potential profit margins by switching to solar.
For those who operate acres of land, for instance, a farmer may be able to setup a larger solar array with the aim of farming solar energy.
The process of farming solar energy isn’t new. With enough space, a business can set up large solar power arrays and earn profit from selling energy to the national grid.
In some instances, there are start-up solar farmers dedicated to making solar farming their entire business model.
How Can I Get Started With Solar Power?
If this all sounds like something you want to become involved with, Smartly’s solar power experts are more than happy to discuss solar power options for your home or business.
Our experts will help you make an informed decision about if solar power is an option for your premises. You can also check out our blog section for more information on everything from solar power to electric vehicles.