Solar energy has become the best alternative to save on your electricity bill. The installation of solar panels is essential to enjoy this clean and free energy in a single-family house, neighborhood community or company. Therefore, it is very important to know its operation, the steps for installation and its price.

What is the photovoltaic energy?

Solar irradiation is an unlimited source of energy emitted by the sun and can be transformed into electrical energy using solar panels. This solar energy is completely free of polluting residues, making it one of the best alternatives to counteract CO2 emissions, greenhouse gases and other pollutants produced by fossil fuels such as gas, oil or coal.

Is Solar the Way to Go? Biggest Solar Energy Pros and Cons

This energy produced by solar panels can be used in the same way as the energy we obtain from the electricity grid, allowing it to be used for both home appliances and home automation as well as for our air conditioning systems such as boilers or air conditioners. There are numerouadvantages for the installation of solar panels compared to other means of production, among the most important of which we can highlight:

Advantages of solar energy

• Savings on the electricity bill: Free, unlimited, tax-free energy production.
• Independence against changes in the price of electricity.
• Reduction of CO2 emissions and green energy production.
• Tax benefit for self-consumption subsidies.
• The maintenance of solar panels is minimal due to its technological simplicity.
• The photovoltaic power belongs to safer energy.

What is and how does a solar panel work?

Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells made of semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide or crystalline silicon, which make it possible to transform solar energy into electrical energy. This energy conversion occurs thanks to the photovoltaic effect, by which an electron passes from the negatively charged panel cell to another with a positive charge, generating a continuous electric current. Therefore, the amount of transformed solar energy is directly proportional to the size of the photovoltaic module, so if we need more energy, we only have to install a larger surface area of ​​photovoltaic cells

This energy produced in direct current, will pass through a solar inverter where its frequency and intensity will be adapted, transforming it into alternating current, and enabling said electrical energy for domestic use. Once we have this energy, we will use the part necessary for self-consumption, while the excess energy, known as surplus energy, can be used in the following ways: store said energy using batteries, pour said excesses into the network in order to obtain a compensation, or not using these surpluses, discarding them through an anti-discharge system.

Components of a photovoltaic installation

Photovoltaic installations are mostly made up of solar panels, an inverter, a bidirectional meter and, occasionally, batteries. These components are common for most installations and, therefore, below, you will find the explanation of each one:

Solar panels

The solar panels are responsible for transforming the energy produced by the sun in the form of solar radiation into electrical energy. The higher the solar irradiation, the greater the power generated by our panel, reaching yields close to 20% in higher quality modules.

solar house

We can differentiate three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline (best quality), polycrystalline and thin film, with monocrystalline being the most expensive, with best performance and most recommended in photovoltaic installations. For the choice of one type of panel or another, we will take into account, in addition to the price, the following aspects:

• Peak power: maximum power that our solar panel is capable of generating
• Panel efficiency: percentage of energy transformed by our photovoltaic module
• Temperature coefficient: the higher the panel temperature, the lower performance, so we will look for low temperature coefficients.


Solar inverter

The solar inverter is responsible for enabling for domestic use the energy produced by the solar panels. Within the inverters we can find two types depending on the type of photovoltaic installation chosen:

• Inverters for installations with grid connection: They allow the energy of our panels to be used both for their own use and to be dumped into the grid.
• Inverters for isolated self-consumption installations with batteries: The inverter is in charge of adapting and transforming the energy, either to supply the batteries or to be distributed for domestic use.


Solar batteries

Solar batteries, responsible for storing our surplus energy, will have a longer useful life the smaller the depth of discharge. In other words, it is better to carry out shorter loads as it is unloaded than an entire one each time it runs out. Among the most frequent types we find:

• AGM batteries: indicated for small installations and without maintenance
• Lithium batteries: small, light and with fast charge times can be implemented in any installation. Its main disadvantage is cost, which is getting closer to being competitive every day.
• Monoblock batteries: indicated for small isolated self-consumption installations
• Stationary batteries: they have a long useful life and are indicated for installations with high and continuous consumption.


Secondary components of a photovoltaic installation

solar panels

1. Support structure of solar panels

Constructed with corrosion resistant materials, it provides anchorage and orientation to our solar panels. There is also the possibility of installing mobile structures that guide the solar panel throughout the day depending on the solar position, maximizing its production.

2. Bidirectional counter

It allows to count the energy generated together with the energy consumed from the network, making the calculation for the application of the net balance at the end of the month

3. Charge regulator

Control the amount of energy destined for our batteries through our solar panels.

4. Installation Solar Cable

It will consist of insulated PV cables like those used in our electrical network installation. It must also include the grounding wire. Click here to see the best Solar cables in the market.

How much can I save with my solar panels?

Once the investment is made, we begin to obtain energy from our installation from the first day. This means for a house with an installed power of 4.6 kW and an annual consumption of 5,300 kWh, a saving every month between 60-80% on the price of our previous invoice. This represents an approximate saving of € 800 a year for at least the next 25 years. The useful life of a panel is much higher than 25 years, simply losing around 15% after these 25 years, which would mean that we will continue to save around € 680 per month.

5 Benefits of Solar-Paneled Houses

Wrapping up, Not only you should use solar energy to save costs but also it will help our environment from dangerous carbon dioxide.