The Sun is the most abundant alternative energy source that we have available on planet Earth. The Sun has been used by just about every species on Earth over time for various reasons. Sunlight can be used to dry wet things, warm a cold-blooded animal, and most importantly grow plants through a process called Photosynthesis. While there have been many uses for sunlight over time, there has now come a time in human history that we can start using the Sun’s energy to generate electricity. The process of generating Solar Power is a bit technical, which I will cover later, but for the most part, we are using an element called Silicon with a special coating to transfer the Sun’s energy into DC power. This means we can ultimately power our home, business, or vacation home with the Sun.
Sunlight is a seemingly infinite alternative energy source, but it is only available part of the day and sometimes not at all due to clouds, rain, snow, or fog. The availabity of direct sunlight on your property and regional weather patterns will affect how well solar power will work to generate electricity for you. I live in Pennsylvania and we have a lower than average amount of daily sunlight, so for me to really feel the benefits of Solar Power the system would need to be very large, or supplemented by another alternative energy source like a Wind Turbine. Learn more about Wind Turbines in my Wind Power guide. Outside of supplementing the system, additional power needs to be stored for later in batteries, or sent back to the grid. There are two main types of Solar Power systems; Off-Grid and Grid-Tie. The type of system that you want to use depends on your plans for how you want to use your Solar Energy.
Learn more about Solar Energy below.