Do I Really Need to Know How Solar Power Works?

Do I Really Need to Know How Solar Power Works?

For those of us considering having solar PV cells installed when we have our home re-roofed, it is important to understand how solar power works and the advantages of solar power. Of course it is probably more important to look at solar power advantages since we will probably never need to build a solar energy system, but it is still good to know the principles behind how solar energy works.

What Is Solar Power?

It is common knowledge that solar power is actually energy from the sun that is harnessed and is most commonly transformed into a type of energy we call electricity. This can be accomplished in a number of ways but the most popular way is with PV (photovoltaic) technology. When you look at solar roof tiles offered here at My Redlands Roof, you will see that each tile consists of PV cells that gather loose electrons from the sunlight which are used to make an electrical current. This current is then collected and used to power our homes. Yes, this is a very basic answer to the question, but it is as much as most of us need or want to know. However, this is the type of solar power that we use as an energy source for our homes. Another common type of solar modules are used for producing heat.

How Does Solar Power Work to Heat Water?

In similar fashion to harnessing solar energy in PV cells, solar thermal collectors also harness energy from the sun but this energy is heat. Most often glazed flat plate collectors are used in homes to heat water for use within the home. These are actually referred to as medium temperature collector plates and are used primarily for heating water. There are other types of collector plates, high temperature collector plates that are also used for the production of electricity. These are not the type generally build into roof tiles, however.

When you are looking for the advantages of solar power, there are really only two that we are mostly concerned with. The first, of course, is the fact that solar power is free renewable energy that we can use day after day after day, year after year as long as the sun shines in the sky. The other advantage is the fact that solar energy is clean energy that has little to no impact on the environment. If you are looking to have solar roof tiles installed, speak only with an MCS certified contractor like those we have listed for you here on My Redlands Roof.