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Solar 101: How Solar Energy Works (Step by Step)

August 12, 2021

Have you ever looked at the solar panels on roofs and wondered exactly what they do, and how? Well, those hi-tech expanses of shimmering glass are actually just one component in a complex network that harnesses the sun’s renewable energy to deliver electricity to the home within.
  
Let’s take a simple, step-by-step look at how solar power works.

How Do Solar Panels Make Electricity?

STEP 1:  Sunlight activates the panels.

  
Each individual panel is constructed of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing surrounded by a special film, and wiring.  For maximum effect, the panels are grouped together into “arrays” (an ordered series) and placed on rooftops or in large outdoor spaces.  The solar cells, which are also referred to as photovoltaic cells, absorb sunlight during daylight hours.

STEP 2:  The cells produce electrical current.

  

Within each solar cell is a thin semiconductor wafer made from two layers of silicon. One layer is positively charged, and the other negatively charged, forming an electric field. When light energy from the sun strikes a photovoltaic solar cell, it energizes the cell and causes electrons to ‘come loose’ from atoms within the semiconductor wafer. Those loose electrons are set into motion by the electric field surrounding the wafer, and this motion creates an electrical current.

STEP 3: The electrical energy is converted.

  

You now have solar panels working efficiently to transform sunlight into electricity, but the electricity generated is called direct current (or DC) electricity, which is not the type of electricity that powers most homes, which is alternating current (or AC) electricity. Fortunately, DC electricity can easily be changed into AC electricity by a gadget called an inverter. In modern solar systems, these inverters can be configured as one inverter for the entire system or as individual microinverters attached behind the panels.

STEP 4:  The converted electricity powers your home.

  

Once the solar energy has been converted from DC to AC electricity, it runs through your electrical panel and is distributed within the home to power your appliances. It works exactly the same way as the electrical power generated through the grid by your electric utility company, so nothing within the home needs to change. Since you still remain connected to your traditional power company, you can automatically draw additional electricity to supplement any solar shortages from the grid.

STEP 5:  A net meter measures usage.

  

On cloudy days and overnight, your solar shingles or panels may not be able to capture enough sunlight to use for energy; conversely, in the middle of the day when nobody is home, they may collect surplus energy—more than you need to operate your home. That’s why a meter is used to measure the electricity flowing in both directions—to and from your home.Your utility company will often provide credits for any surplus power you send back to the grid. This is known as net metering.
  

Conclusion

 
Now that you know the basics about solar energy, you can marvel at how today’s photovoltaic technology can capture the vast power of the sun to operate a home. It may not be rocket science—but it definitely is human ingenuity at its best.
  
Interested in solar roofing for your home? Explore our solar products or find a credentialed solar installer in your area.

Featured Article – Health & Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy

June 4, 2021

Homeowners and utilities alike are choosing solar energy at a faster rate than ever before in the United States. The explosive growth of solar power is partly a result of the falling cost of solar panels. Rebates and incentives have also contributed to the United States’ biggest year ever for solar. But decreasing costs are only one of the many benefits of solar energy. You can also improve your health and protect the environment by reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and installing a solar energy system at your home or business.

  

The environmental benefit of solar energy

Solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun and benefits the environment. Alternatives to fossil fuels reduce carbon footprint at home and abroad, reducing greenhouse gases around the globe. Solar is known to have a favorable impact on the environment.
  
Most of the electricity generated in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Extracting and using fossil fuels is expensive and harmful to the environment. By contrast, solar energy is free and readily abundant – if we could capture all of the sun’s energy shining on the Earth for just one hour, we could power the entire world for one year!
  
By investing in solar energy, you can help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in favor of one of the most abundant, consistent sources of energy we have available: our sun. 
  

Solar energy decreases greenhouse gas emissions

Generating electricity with solar power instead of fossil fuels can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). Greenhouse gases, which are produced when fossil fuels are burned, lead to rising global temperatures and climate change. Climate change already contributes to serious environmental and public health issues in the Northeast, including extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and ecosystem changes.
  
By going solar, you can reduce demand for fossil fuels, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and shrink your carbon footprint. One home installing a solar energy system can have a measurable effect on the environment. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average home with solar panels in Connecticut uses 8,288 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. Switching from fossil fuels to solar power in the state has the same emissions reduction effect as planting around 150 trees every year.
  
In New York, the average home uses 7,248 kWh of electricity annually. Choosing a clean source of electricity like solar panels can eliminate the same amount of carbon emissions that would result from burning over 5,000 pounds of coal each year.
  

Solar energy reduces respiratory and cardio health issues

One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it results in very few air pollutants. An analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that widespread solar adoption would significantly reduce nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter emissions, all of which can cause health problems. NREL found that, among other health benefits, solar power results in fewer cases of chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and lost workdays related to health issues.
  
The benefits of solar energy are clear. Not only can you save money on your electric bills – you can also reduce your carbon footprint and improve the health of those around you. Compare quotes today to see how much you can save by going solar.
  

What are peak electricity hours and why am I charged more?

May 21, 2021

Different Ways Electric Companies Determine Billing

Electric companies have 2 different modules for residential customers. The standard electricity plan requires a flat rate for usage regardless of the time of day it is. Time-of-use (TOU) plans have different cost for usage depending on the time of day you are drawing from the electricity grid.

  

TOU rates are separated into two categories, the first being peak hours. A peak hour is when electricity is in higher demand, while an off-peak hour is when less individuals are using electricity, or the demand is lower.
 
 
Each electric provider determines their own hours and days for peak and off-peak hours.

 
 
Changing Your Habits to Use Non-Peak Electricity

Even if you are not home during non-peak hours several appliances have scheduling functions. Appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers can be run on schedule or during non-peak hours. If you have an electric car you can charge your vehicle at night.
 
 
Waking up earlier or going to bed later can also help offset your electric cost. Charging laptops, cell phones, and other devices at nighttime can make changes to your account.

  

Consider Installing a Battery

Lots of homeowners are looking into installing battery storage at home. They can charge the battery during non-peak hours and run off the battery during peak hours. Another perk to having a battery is if there is a power outage you can run off the battery as well.

  

Produce Your Own Power

Another way to take control of your electric bill is through the installation of solar panels. Installing solar panels allows homeowners to produce their own power and offset the cost of your electric bill. Depending on your usage you can completely customize your system to cover some or most of your utility bill.
  

Myths about Solar

May 3, 2021

Solar panels do not work in cold weather or when it is cloudy.
 

This is incorrect! Solar panels work even when the weather does not appear to be sunny. With the technology of solar panels, they are able to work effectively and efficiently all year round. Solar Panels are even more effective on cooler temperatures rather than extreme heat.
 
 
Solar energy is too costly
 
 

Investments in solar panels have been on the rise over the last decade. The average cost associated with solar has fallen by approximately 30%, while the cost associated with pulling from a power company grid has been steadily increasing. It is cheaper to produce power through solar energy than it is from coal.
 
 
Solar panels will damage my roof
 
 

Solar panels protect and preserve the areas covered by the panels. In the unlikely case that a damaged area of roof is located under a panel they are easy to remove for repairs.

 
 
Solar panels are bad for the environment after their lifetime is completed
 
 
Solar Panels are built to last 25+ years, after which they can be recycled.
 
 
Learn More From Solar Titan USA
 
 
We hope this blog post has helped you to understand exactly what makes solar energy a green form of energy. Solar energy is a sustainable, renewable source of energy that can help us reduce our use of fossil fuels and slow climate change and the effects that it is having on our planet.
 
 
Are you ready to invest in a solar panel system for your home? The team at Solar Titan USA in Knoxville can help. We are here to answer all of your questions and alleviate any of your concerns. Contact us today to learn more about solar energy and how one small change could help build a better future for the next generation.
 
 

What Makes Solar Energy Green?

December 21, 2020

Solar energy has become a leading source of green energy. Solar energy is created by a solar panel system catching the sun’s rays and transforming the photons into clean, renewable energy. As long as we don’t run out of sunshine, we won’t run out of the energy source for solar.

 
 

This sustainable energy source allows us to power and heat our homes without the use of fossil fuels. Homes that run on solar, don’t rely on coal, natural gas, or petroleum, so they don’t release any carbon emissions into the environment.
 
 

In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss these factors and others as we talk about exactly what makes solar energy a green energy source. Continue reading to learn more about how solar energy can help us slow climate change and preserve our world for the next generation.
 
 
Are you interested in solar panel installation on your home? Solar Titan USA is here to help. Our team is experienced, knowledgeable, and professional. We can help you make the right decisions on exactly what your home needs to run efficiently on solar energy. Contact us today to learn more.
 
 
Solar Is a Renewable Energy Source
Since solar energy is created from the transformation of photons into energy, the source is considered extremely renewable. As far as we can see into the future, the sun will be shining on the Earth. And, as long as the sun is shining, solar panels can receive photons from the sun’s rays and transform them into energy we can use for our homes. Unlike fossil fuels, there is not a finite amount of solar energy available. Solar will remain a renewable energy source long into the foreseeable future.

Solar Is a Sustainable Energy Source
Since the sun’s rays are not a limited resource, there is no chance of us running out of solar energy. For example, if you have solar panels on your roof, and your neighbor decides to install some solar panels as well, your system will not be affected. Everyone can produce solar energy without us being in danger of running out of photons. This is a large part of what makes solar power a sustainable source of energy.
 
 
In addition, collecting solar rays does not impact the environment. We don’t damage the sun, the atmosphere, our air, water, or any other part of the natural environment by transforming photons into energy. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy does not require us to damage the Earth in any way.
 
 
Solar Does Not Release Carbon Emissions

While there is a small amount of carbon emissions released during the production of solar panels, once they are manufactured, solar systems do not release carbon emissions while they transform the sun’s rays into clean energy. Since solar energy does not require the use of fossil fuels, it will not contribute to the spike in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere or climate change.
 
 
Solar Energy Does Not Require the Extraction of Fossil Fuels
We have spoken about how the use of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into our natural environment, but the extraction process of fossil fuels is also cause for concern. Extraction of fossil fuels often causes air and water pollution, harm to local communities, and can sometimes even lead to dangerous explosions, accidents, and spills.
 
 
With solar energy, we don’t have to frack, mine, or drill into the Earth. Solar energy is readily available for anyone who is willing to take the first step and invest in a solar panel system like those from Solar Titan USA.
Solar Energy Does Not Have to Be Transported by Vehicles
Have you ever seen a large truck carrying gasoline driving down the interstate? This is because, many times, fossil fuels have to be transported across the country. Once we consider this factor, we understand that fossil fuels have a negative impact on the earth in more ways than one. Fossil fuels create air pollution when we extract them, as we transport them, and as we use them to create energy. Solar energy does not have to be extracted, transported in gas-powered vehicles, and does not release carbon emissions when utilized in our homes.
 
 
Solar Panels Have a Long Life Expectancy
A concern that has recently risen is that solar panels are not the easiest products to recycle once they are ready to be replaced. However, with a life expectancy of 25–30 years, it is very likely that by the time your solar panels are ready to be disposed of that this problem will have an amicable solution. Since solar panels have such a long life expectancy, not only will they be a one-time investment for most homeowners, but they are also a long-term solution for creating green energy for your home.
 
 
We hope this blog post has helped you to understand exactly what makes solar energy a green form of energy. Solar energy is a sustainable, renewable source of energy that can help us reduce our use of fossil fuels and slow climate change and the effects that it is having on our planet.
 
 
Are you ready to invest in a solar panel system for your home? The team at Solar Titan USA in Knoxville can help. We are here to answer all of your questions and alleviate any of your concerns. Contact us today to learn more about solar energy and how one small change could help build a better future for the next generation.
 
 

6 Benefits of Solar Power

December 14, 2020

As interest in solar power grows, you may wonder, what are the benefits of solar power? Is it worth investing in the upfront cost of solar panel installation? Is solar power really better for the Earth? Today, we are going to answer all of these questions and more.
 
 
Solar energy is a green, renewable energy source that can help us reduce our carbon footprint, while lowering the cost of our energy bills. At Solar Titan USA in Knoxville, we believe that solar energy is our future. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of solar power, and when you are ready to speak to a member or our knowledgeable team, contact Solar Titan USA.
 
 
Renewable Energy Source
Solar power is a renewable energy source. Solar panels transform photons from the sun into clean, sustainable energy that we can use to provide electricity to our homes. Unlike fossil fuels where there is a finite amount available, with solar power, we are not using a limited resource. There will always be photons available as long as the sun is shining on the Earth.
 
 
Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
Everytime we switch on a light, turn on the heat, or plug in our television, we are using electricity that is created from fossil fuels. When we use petroleum, coal, or natural gas as an energy source, it results in carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide from the use of fossil fuels as energy is the main cause of climate change. When you make the decision to use a green, renewable energy like solar power, you are reducing the amount of carbon emissions and minimizing your carbon footprint. 
 
 
Saves You Money on Energy Bills

Energy costs from utility companies often fluctuate, and many times, there isn’t anything that you can do about your use of energy to lower your bills. Utilizing solar panels to provide power to your home means that you will no longer have to pay whatever price the utility company is charging. Whether they are consistently raising their rates each year or charging higher rates for energy use during peak times, when you are creating your own solar energy, you will no longer have to concern yourself with price fluctuations and inconsistencies.
 
 
Increases the Value of Your Home
A home with solar power is worth more than a home without. It’s a pretty simple equation. If you have solar panels installed on your home, if you decide to sell, you will be able to set a higher asking price than if you hadn’t had the panels installed.
 
 
Tax Credits
While the upfront cost of solar panels may seem high to some, you must remember that there are usually federal, state, and local tax credits available for those who choose to have solar panels installed on their home.
 
 
If you are unsure of what solar panel tax credits you would be eligible for, the team at Solar Titan USA can help. Our passion is green energy, and we would be happy to help you make solar panels affordable for your home by identifying which tax credits may apply. Contact us today to learn more.
 
 
Gives You Energy Independence
Energy independence is one of the most important benefits of solar power. You will become independent from not only the utility companies, but also from fossil fuels. This is a powerful concept, and if it were to be applied on a larger scale, it could entirely change the economic structure of our country. While this is part of a bigger dream we have for the future, for now, energy independence means that you will have your own renewable, sustainable power source, and will no longer be subjected to fluctuations in pricing caused by the utility company or by the limited supply of fossil fuels.
 
 
Learn More About Solar Energy
We hope that after reading this blog that you have a better understanding of the benefits of solar power. This renewable, clean energy can help reduce your carbon footprint, slow global warming, and lower the cost of your energy bills. With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why so many people choose solar power.
 
 
If you are ready to learn more about solar power or would like to inquire about the cost of solar panels from your home, contact the knowledgeable team at Solar Titan USA in Knoxville.
 
 

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint With Solar Power

December 7, 2020

We often hear the word carbon footprint. But, what exactly does it mean and how does going solar help? In today’s blog, we are going to discuss these facts and more.
 
 
Continue reading to learn about how your carbon footprint is measured and how you can help reduce it. And, if you are ready to make the switch to solar, Solar Titan USA in Knoxville can help. We understand that no two homes are the same, and that’s why create an individualized plan of action for you that will maximize the efficiency of your solar system for your specific situation and needs. Contact our helpful team today to learn more about your options.
 
 
What Is a Carbon Footprint?
A carbon footprint is the measure of the total amount of greenhouse gases that are produced both directly and indirectly by a person, organization, event, or product. A carbon footprint is typically tracked per year. The standard unit to measure a carbon footprint is the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Simply put, the amount of the six different greenhouse gases are measured and put into equivalent terms of their global warming potential relative to carbon dioxide. Rather than having different measurements for each gas, this system allows us to compare the impact of each on a level playing field. While carbon dioxide has the most impact on the environment and is the biggest contributor to climate change, we also consider five other gases including methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and Sulphur Hexafluoride.
 
 
The release of these gases and your carbon footprint can be affected by travel, heating and cooling your home, electrical use in your home, and even the gases produced when the food you eat is being manufactured, among many other factors. Each time we purchase a product or service that releases greenhouse gases during production or manufacturing, this also contributes to our carbon footprint. We can reduce our carbon footprint by choosing sustainable forms of transportation like bicycles or hybrid cars, choosing to purchase products from companies that use green energy sources, and installing solar panels on our homes.
 
 
Fossil fuels are the main source of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. Coal, natural gas, and petroleum often release greenhouse gases when they are extracted from the Earth and as they are transformed into energy. Many times, fossil fuels are also transported in gas-powered vehicles, which further contributes to more greenhouse gases being released.
 
 
How Making the Switch to Solar Reduces Our Carbon Footprint?
Solar power is a clean, renewable, and sustainable source of energy. It does not require the use of fossil fuels and does not release carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases into the environment.
 
 
Investing in a solar panel system for your home means that you will no longer have to rely on energy from the utility company. That means you won’t be using fossil fuels every time you turn on the heat, watch the television, or run a hot bath. While this may not reduce your carbon emissions while you drive your car or the greenhouse gases released by the production of your favorite food from the grocery store — it is a start to reducing your carbon footprint and slowing climate change.
 
 
No Carbon Emissions From Energy Production
Solar power does not produce carbon emissions during production as fossil fuels do. Solar power collects the sun’s rays and transforms the photons into energy. There is no carbon dioxide or any other greenhouse gas released during this process.
 
 
No Fracking, Drilling, or Mining
When fossil fuels are extracted from the Earth, we often have to mine, frack, or drill to access them. This results in the release of greenhouse gases and can cause harm to the local communities. With solar power, there is no extraction required. The sun freely gives us its rays as it shines down on the Earth. And, it does not hurt the Earth or the atmosphere when the solar panels collect and transform the photons.
 
 
Solar Doesn’t Have to Be Transported by Gas-Powered Vehicles
Solar energy does not have to be loaded into a gas-powered tractor trailer and driven across the country for distribution the way that many fossil fuels do. Most of the energy that your solar panels will produce is stored in the system and will be used for energy right at your home.
 
 
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Help From Solar Titan USA
Are you interested in reducing your carbon footprint and helping to slow climate change? If so, the experienced and knowledgeable team at Solar Titan USA in Knoxville can help. We carry only the best solar equipment so that you can get the most out of your solar system. At Solar Titan USA, green energy is our passion and we would love to be your guide to helping you reduce your carbon footprint. Contact us today to learn more.
 
 

Welcome to the Solar Titan USA Blog Page

May 20, 2018

We are Solar Titan USA — your Top Rated Local® solar company. We specialize in solar panel installation in Knoxville, Lexington, and the surrounding areas. We take immense pride in providing an exceptional customer experience and unbeatable installation services. At Solar Titan USA, we handle everything in-house from your first call all the way through to the installation process, so you’ll never have to worry about us outsourcing any of your services. When you choose Solar Titan USA, you can count on receiving the same great service from beginning to end.
 
 
On our blog page, we’ll be discussing topics such as the benefits of solar, how to determine your carbon footprint, how to calculate carbon emissions, different forms of sustainable energy, and so much more. Check back often to learn more about solar energy from the team at Solar Titan USA, and when you are ready to start producing green, solar energy on your Lexington or Knoxville property, contact our team to learn more.
 
 
Our Expert Solar Panel Installation Services
At Solar Titan USA, we take immense pride in providing top-notch solar panel installation services to both homes and businesses in our communities. We believe that green energy is our future and that by investing in solar now, our customers can benefit for decades to come. From lower energy bills to reducing your carbon footprint, solar energy comes with a host of advantages.
 
 
Whether you requir commercial or residential solar panel installation in Lexington or Knoxville, the team at Solar Titan USA is here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.
 
 
Areas We Serve
At Solar Titan USA, we serve central and eastern Kentucky, middle and east Tennessee, northern Alabama, and northern and central Georgia. If you live in any of the following Cities, or surrounding areas, Solar Titan USA provides solar panel installation services to your area. If you don’t see the name of your town on our list, give us a call and we’d be happy to determine if you are inside of our service area.

  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Macon, Georgia
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee

 
 
Our Dedication to Our Customers
At Solar Titan USA, we are dedicated to providing the best possible experience and solar panel systems to our customers. We strive each day to ensure that our customers are wowed by the experience that they have with our company. We work to build long-term relationships because we believe, that’s how business should be conducted.
 
 
At Solar Titan USA, we get to know each and every one of our customers, as well as your needs and goals. This allows us to make the best recommendation when it comes to choosing the size and setup of your solar panel system. When you work with us, you’ll never be treated like just another number and we won’t try to upsell you on products you don’t need or cut corners to save money. When you work with Solar Titan USA, you can rest assured that you’re dealing with a company that you can trust.
 
 
Our Solar Equipment
The SolarEdge equipment we use at Solar Titan USA is the best in the business. This solar panel system is unique in that it runs off of the same cables, connectors, and the same method as a traditional system, but is much more efficient and safe than older systems. This solar panel system is comprised of smart panels that can each be individually monitored through a cloud-based system that is accessible through your tablet, smartphone, or computer. The solar panel systems that we use also have an extra safety mechanism that makes the system safer for you, the installer, electricians, and the fire department, if ever necessary. When you work with Solar Titan USA for your solar panel system installation, you can be sure that you’re receiving a quality system that will last.
 
 
Our Dedication to Green Energy
At Solar Titan USA, green energy is our passion. We believe that solar can effectively power our homes, businesses, and communities and provide us with energy independence from utility companies and foreign oil sources. Solar power also has a key position to play when it comes to reducing our carbon emissions and helping to decrease the effects of global climate change. At Solar Titan USA, we are committed to providing our communities with the ability to produce this green, sustainable energy on their own property with our solar panel installation services.
 
 
Get Started With as Little as Zero Out of Pocket
When you work with Solar Titan USA, we get many of our customers started with solar panel installation with zero percent down. We understand that people may become deterred from transitioning to solar energy because of the initial upfront costs. But, with the government incentives available, and our ability to get you started with zero out of pocket, you can focus more on creating a sustainable future and the return on investment that you will enjoy for decades down the road rather than this one-time cost.
 
 
Solar Titan USA – Your Top Rated Local® Solar Company
If you live in Knoxville, Lexington, Nashville, Chattanooga, Louisville, Macon, Huntsville, Atlanta, or any of the surrounding cities or communities, Solar Titan USA provides expert solar panel installation services in your area. Whether you own a home or a business, if you are ready to make the switch to a sustainable, renewable energy that will help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint, solar energy is the answer. Contact our team today to get started.