Types of Solar Panels & Solar Energy Systems

Untapped Energy

It is a fact that the Sun is the most abundant source of renewable energy, not to mention that it is the source of most energy on our planet. Although most of its energy remains untapped, the conversion of Sunlight into thermal or electrical energy are two ways that Solar Energy can be used extensively for the home as well as a variety of commercial and industrial use. 

Ever since the production of the first solar panel in 1954, there have been groundbreaking developments on how to harness Solar Energy and use it effectively as electrical energy. Today, installing a rooftop solar panel can certainly give way to dramatic electric bill savings. 

solar panels in a field

What is a Solar Panel?

A solar panel, succinctly speaking, converts light from the sun and converts it into electricity. 

Solar panels are composed of a collection of solar cells made up of materials that have a positive and a negative charge such as silicon, phosphorus, and boron. Solar cells are very small but when placed together in the form of solar panels and solar arrays, they are very effective in absorbing photons (light energy from the sun). This process launches an electric current. Electrons are then released in the electric field of the panel. 

This whole process is called the Photo-Voltaic effect. That is why Solar Panels are also called PV Panels.

Types of Solar Power Systems

Grid-Connected System

The Grid-Connected Panel System, such as most Denver residents have, allows you to be connected to your electricity network supplier. Thus giving you the ability to switch to your electricity provider when solar panels do not work or if you have a much greater electric need than your solar panel system can generate.

Grid-Connected Panels also allow the homeowner an opportunity to make money by selling surplus electricity back to the grid or the electric company.

Off-Grid System

house in a remote location with an off-grid solar power systemThere is also the other type of Solar Panel which is perfect for the more adventurous types. If you are into creating a cabin in a remote area or putting up a house in a mountain where there is no electricity, well then there is also a Solar Panel System called the Stand-Alone System. 

The way to do it is to add solar batteries to the system so that there is no need to be hooked to the grid. Adding solar batteries would simply enable the system to store electricity. 

Of course, one can still opt to go off-grid even when living in the city. You just have to make sure that your installer would give you the best advice on how to go about it as going off-grid means you won’t have a safety blanket in case you haven’t stored enough energy at some point. This means that the choice of the solar company installer is of utmost importance.  

Your solar installers can finish installing your solar panels on your rooftops in a few days whether you decide to be Grid-Connected or off. There are also ground-mounted arrays if you decide not to have solar panels on your rooftops. Ground-mounted arrays would be a great option for those whose rooftops are not capable of having solar panels installed. Ground-mounted would take out the cost of having the rooftops rebuilt to install solar panels.

Solar panels on a building

Community Solar

There is also something called community solar gardens. If your community has something like this wherein the neighborhood can share a solar power system, it could lower the cost of having your home powered by solar energy.

Most solar installers already include labor, paperwork, permits, panels, and other materials needed to install solar panels whether on your roof or on the ground. Some installers also include the cost of designing your solar panels.

Don’t pay a thing until your
solar panels are on the roof!