SOLAR POWER BASICS

Solar electricity is produced by changing sunlight to power using the photovoltaic (PV) effect. The PV effect causes an electrical current to flow through a solar cell when exposed to sunlight. Solar cells power everything from calculators and remote highway signs to homes, commercial buildings, and large power plants. Solar cells power all satellites in space, making them responsible for the world’s communications products.

Solar companies make solar panels by combining many solar cells together. Several solar panels combined make a solar array. When solar panels are strung together in series and combined with other components, they become a solar electric system or solar array. A solar electric system can meet part or all of a home’s electricity needs, offset-ting 25% to 50% of most homeowners’ power with solar electricity.

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