Is Solar Energy Reliable?

by Celestial Solar | Jul 9, 2024

Over the last decade, the solar industry has exploded. Amidst failing power grids and rising energy costs, more and more homeowners across the country are looking into solar panels to power their homes (and not just those in sunny states like Arizona, California, and Nevada). Despite this expansive growth, a common question remains: Is solar energy reliable?

When customized effectively to your home’s energy needs and climate, our answer is a resounding yes! Solar energy is absolutely reliable. To further explain, in this article, we’ll explore:

  • How solar panels work
  • Sunshine dependency
  • Energy storage
  • Grid integration
  • Scalability and flexibility

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How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels work by turning sunlight into electricity, using materials like silicon that respond to light. When sunlight hits the panels, it energizes the electrons in the silicon, creating a flow of electrical energy. Each panel has both a positive and a negative layer, which guides these electrons to flow in a particular direction, forming what’s known as “direct current,” or DC power. Since most homes use “alternating current,” or AC power, the electricity from the solar panels must go through a device called an inverter first. This inverter converts DC power into usable AC power, making it compatible with the electrical systems (such as outlets and plugs) that we use in our homes.

Sunshine Dependency

Solar energy is dependent on sunshine, and this is where most people get hung up on the reliability of solar. Areas with high sunshine, like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orange County, can harness more consistent solar power compared to regions that are often cloudy or have long winters. That said, solar panels have come a long way in recent years. Advancements in solar technology have improved the efficiency of solar panels, enabling them to generate electricity even on cloudy days. Sure, if you live in Seattle, you’ll probably need more panels to compensate, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still benefit from reliable solar power.

Energy Storage

Since solar panels need sunshine to generate electricity, they don’t produce energy at night. However, the solution is an energy storage system. Harnessing a battery that’s integrated with your solar panels, you can store excess power generated during the day. Then, this stored energy can be used at night or during sunless periods, enhancing your total solar production. For maximum solar gain, energy storage systems are becoming increasingly popular.

Grid Integration

Additionally, many homeowners choose to participate in “net metering” programs offered by their local utility company. Net metering programs allow homeowners with solar panels to send excess electricity they generate back to the grid in exchange for a credit on their bill. For example, during summer, when you’re generating a lot of surplus electricity, you can obtain credits that will essentially balance out the cost of your winter power bill when you’re not generating as much solar power and need to draw from the grid. Although this isn’t technically a testament to reliability, it does help many homeowners justify the cost of their solar system, as net metering credits can significantly increase your overall return on investment. Plus, when you’re grid-tied, you can benefit from having multiple power sources available to you.

Scalability and Flexibility

The scalability of solar systems is flexible, allowing homeowners to install additional panels as energy needs increase or as budget allows. Solar panels can also be customized to meet the energy needs of different homes, climates, and budgets. For example, high-efficiency panels are available for areas with less sunlight, ensuring that even on cloudy days, your system works effectively. Coupled with batteries, the energy collected during sunny periods can be stored and used later, ensuring you get the most out of your solar panels, no matter where you live or how much power you use.

Ready to go solar? Get a FREE quote from Celestial Solar today!

Schedule a free estimate now and see how much you could save by switching to solar. As one of Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California’s top-rated solar companies, we’re proud to offer high-quality solar installations backed by a 25-year warranty.

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