What is Solar power & how solar power works

WHAT IS SOLAR POWER?

Here in Australia, we have an abundance of sun. This makes renewable ener

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gy a very wise investment. Solar power can be utilised in a variety of ways - whether it’s solar pool heating, a solar hot water system or a solar air conditioning system.

Solar power technology utilities solar PV cells or solar PV panels (or solar photovoltaics) to effectively convert sunlight into renewable energy. If you are interested in solar panels, you need to engage a trusted solar panel installer, like Bradford, to recommend the most appropriate type of solar power system for you. Bradford can also answer all your questions regarding home solar.

In essence, solar power technology - solar PV (or solar photovoltaics) - uses solar panels to effectively convert sunlight into electricity.

HOW DOES SOLAR POWER WORK?

  1. Solar photovoltaic (PV), or PV cells, harness the sun’s light energy to generate clean, green electricity, with no emissions whatsoever.
  2. This light energy is converted within the cells of the solar panel to create DC electricity.
  3. DC electricity is then converted by a solar inverter to regular household electricity which powers your lights and appliances.
  4. Any surplus power generated by your solar power system is exported to the grid.
  5. If your household uses more electricity than your solar power system generates, the grid will provide any additional power required.

Why is solar energy so important?

According to the Clean Energy Council, ‘Australia’s stationary energy sector, which includes electricity derived from coal-fired power, is responsible for around 50% of our greenhouse gas emissions.

When it comes to climate change, our heavy reliance on traditional energy puts Australia’s environment and long-term economic security at risk. It also means your home could be spending much more on electricity than you need to - particularly into the future.

Fortunately, Australia has several sources of renewable and environmentally-friendly energy at our disposal. This, of course, includes solar energy.

Why is solar energy such a viable option in Australia?

Here are a few key reasons:

  • Australia has the highest average solar radiation of any continent in the world. This means our solar industry has the greatest potential to lead the world. Click here to read more from Clean Energy.
  • Solar power is a zero-emission electricity source. One megawatt hour (MWh) of solar-derived electricity avoids approximately one tonne of CO22.
  • For everyday homes, a well-designed, well-installed system can deliver a considerable return on investment. This means that over time, your system will pay for itself.
  • Both state and federal governments here in Australia offer incentives for households that install solar panels and solar hot water systems. However, in order to qualify for government incentives, your solar power system must be installed by a professional accredited with the Clean Energy Council - such as Bradford Solar.

What types of solar power exist?

There are three main types of solar energy that are currently in use. These include:

  • Solar thermal energy - which uses the sun’s power to generate electricity by using lenses and reflectors to concentrate the energy. This concentrated energy is then used to heat a fluid - typically water or oil - and uses the steam to drive a turbine.
  • Solar panels - or solar PV. This is where homes use solar panels to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into household energy (with the help of an inverter).
  • Solar hot water - where homes utilise the sun’s energy to heat their household water, either by using a flat plate solar panel system, an evacuated tube system, or a heat pump.

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