Is Solar Energy Reliable?
Is Solar Energy Reliable?
If you’re thinking about switching to solar, you might be wondering if it can be trusted to be a reliable source of power for your family and home. The skeptic in you may be asking, “What happens if it’s cloudy? What if it can’t generate enough electricity to power my whole home? What happens if the panels break?”
If you’re wondering whether solar energy is reliable, we’re here to set your mind at ease. Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions we get about the reliability of solar power.
How Does Solar Power Actually Work?
In the most basic sense, solar panels capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. You can then use this energy to power your home.
Looking for more than the simplest of answers? Solar panels are made of photovoltaic (PV) cells. These cells are negatively charged — when sunlight hits the PV cells, electrons are knocked around, creating a charge that flows through the panel, creating direct current (DC) electricity. DC is not usable, so an inverter takes that electricity and converts it to alternating current (AC) power, which is then automatically used to power your home.
So why is it a better option than fossil fuels? Solar power is truly renewable energy. It captures light from the sun — and the sun isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That means that you’ll consistently be able to generate your own power without relying on nonrenewable resources.
What Happens if My Panels Don’t Generate Enough Electricity?
A common misconception about solar is that if you don’t generate enough electricity to fully run your home, you’re out of luck. That’s not true. When you go solar, you don’t lose access to the electric grid. As long as the grid is operational, you will continue to have access to electricity.
So what’s the benefit of going solar? Your panels can generate a significant amount of electricity to help power your home at lower cost, so you won’t need to rely on the grid for all of your electricity needs. But if you need more power, you simply pull from the grid. In this way, you pay less to use the same amount of electricity you would otherwise.
What Happens to Solar During the Night? What if it’s Cloudy or Snowing?
Yes, solar panels rely on the sun, but it’s a common misconception that they can’t generate energy if it’s not bright and sunny out. Here’s how it works:
When the sun is shining, your solar panels are generating energy. This energy can go in one of two places:
- Your home. Energy can be used right away to power anything your home needs electricity for.
- Back to the grid. Sometimes, you generate more power than you actually need. This can happen during particularly sunny months. So what happens to that excess energy? Often, it’s fed back into the grid for use by others. But you don’t lose it! Most electricity companies with compensate you with credits to use on electricity later down the line. That means that when you’re generating less electricity, such as during the winter months, you’re still benefiting from the excess power you generated when it was sunny.
No matter what, the energy you generate will continue to benefit you, even in times when you’re generating less. And on that note, it’s also important to note that your panels still generate energy when the weather’s bad. Yes, energy production may slow, but solar energy can still be captured and used even if the sun’s not shining bright.
How Long do Solar Systems Last?
Solar is a big investment, so it makes sense you’d want to be sure it’s going to last you a long time. The industry standard for solar panel lifetime is 25 – 30 years, although it is possible for panels to last even longer.
Solar panels require relatively little maintenance. However, we know keeping your panels working their best is important to you, which is why customers who lease solar panels through PosiGen receive maintenance for the life of their 25-year lease. That means less stress and worry for you, and a long lifetime for your solar system.
Is Solar Right for You?
It’s been proven again and again: solar is a reliable, renewable source of energy that can power your home and reduce your energy bills. Are you ready to find out if solar is right for you? Reach out to us. The experts at PosiGen are ready to help you create a bright, long-lasting solution for your home.