Sun Catchers? How Does Solar Power Work?

ABEST1 Sun Catchers? How Does Solar Power Work?

Article by Josh Howard

The Concept

As the state of the global environment continues to deteriorate, global warming issues and the rising cost of fossil fuels used for creating energy, solar power is becoming a concept to be reckoned with. It is becoming an increasingly more popular option for both saving the environment as well as saving money on those monthly utility bills. Interestingly enough, and despite its growing popularity, there are very few individuals who understand exactly how solar power works.

Traditional Solar Panels

In order to fully understand how solar power works, you need to first learn that there are two types of traditional solar panels. Typically, these are either mounted on the roof of your home or on the ground somewhere near the house. You have a choice of two types of panels that you can use – photovoltaic cells, also referred to as PV cells, or Solar Thermal Collectors. Although they function in similar fashion, there are some key differences to be aware of.

The key difference is that PV cells are used in order to generate electrical power whereas Solar Thermal Collectors are used for the purposes of generating heat, as in heating air and/or water. These two types of cells look similar and are typically installed alongside one another in a solar energy array in order to achieve maximum solar energy usage.

PV cells are used to generate electrical power by converting the heat and light of the sun into energy. Solar panels are composed of a series of cells attached to a flat grid, which are encased in clear glass so they don’t incur any environmental damage. “Ribbons” or “strings”, as they are referred to, are inter-connected within the panels and serve to transfer energy in between these cells. Once they have captured the sun’s heat and light, it gets converted into solar energy which ultimately becomes the electrical power needed for your business or home.

On the other hand, Solar Thermal Collectors collect the heat from the sun’s light and then stores it as energy for heating the air or water inside the home. It is then transferred to areas inside or outside of the home depending on the areas where heat is required. Providing power for calculators and wrist watches or for aerating and pumping water are some of the simpler electrical applications of these Solar Thermal Collectors.

What is Passive Solar Power?

Passive Solar Power is defined as the method of harnessing the sun’s heat and light without using any specialized panels or other devices. For example, passive solar energy can be generated by utilizing special insulation for your home windows. You can also secure your hot water heater in an outside location that receives a lot of sunlight in order to heat the water for your home. Additionally, you can also save on your electricity bill by installing skylights in your roof. This reduces the need for electricity to light the rooms in your home.

On a closing note, no matter what type of solar panel or source of solar power that you use, they will enable you to create anywhere from 75% to 100% of the energy necessary to power your home.

About the Author

Josh Howard is a Going Green enthusiast. For more great tips and advice on how solar power works,visit

Since ABest Energy Power provides customized financing as low as 0% and as much as 90% of your costs are covered by limited-time Federal and local rebates, there has never been a better time to go solar. Contact us TODAY for a free Solar Evaluation!

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