Residential Solar Power
Solar Power for Homes Background

Residential solar power systems (also known as home solar power systems) are clean, durable and silent power generators based on solar panels. Solar power residential is becoming more popular with the increasing awareness to clean air and global warming and the ever increasing cost of electricity. Luckily, the cost of solar electric panels saw an impressive decline during the years 2011 and 2012 and the downward trend continues.

Residential Solar Power Background, Advantages and Cost

Home solar power systems are in essence small photovoltaic power plants at affordable prices. They can generate electricity in a clean and silent way. By installing a solar power system you detach yourself from the future hikes in electricity prices. I’ll give you the background on solar power generation using photovoltaic solar panels and what to consider before you decide to install a solar power system in your home.

Solar Power for Home Generation Systems

Residential photovoltaic systems are complete systems that includes the solar panels and a solar inverter. For more data on inverter types click here. To return to this point after reading on inverters' types click the browser back button.

How does a solar power generator work?

A solar power generator is in essence an energy converter. It converts Sun radiation (a stream of photons) into DC electrical power (a stream of electrons). The solar generator main component is the solar electric panels array.

Solar Power Background

Residential photovoltaic generation is the younger brother in the family. The older brother is water heating, a conversion of sun radiation into heated water

As the younger brother, the technology is still evolving to the direction of better efficiency and lower cost, in 2009 and 2010 we witnessed a dramatic price reduction.

As a rough estimate, the gross cost of buying and installing a residential photovoltaic in 2012 (in other words using Sun Light radiation) power system is $2-$4 per watt production capacity. The lion share of the system cost is in buying and installing the solar panels. A typical home will need 2,000-4,000 watts production capacity. 30% of the investment can be claimed back in federal tax credits and with states tax credits and incentives it can reach close to 50%. View my page on energy tax credits.

Grid Tied Residential Solar Power Systems

grid tied solar power system

Home grid tied (or grid connected) solar power generating systems are small to medium size "power plants". They are connected directly to the utility grid (hence the name).

Solar Inverters Types

The type of inverter used for the on grid solar power generation system is not the same as the one that is used for the off grid solar power systems.(see my page on the pure sine inverter)

Off grid Residential Solar Power Systems

Off-grid solar power systems can supply electricity to homes and ranches that are far from the edge of the grid. In most cases it is highly recommended to add an off grid wind turbine to the off grid solar power plant. The wind generator complements the solar power system and resources can be shared between the two systems

Off grid solar power systems are also used in street lighting, traffic lights, remote public telephone boots and similar applications.

Installation Alternatives

Solar power systems can be installed and commissioned by a professional certified solar installer. Another option is to buy the solar kit from and Do It Yourself (DYI)

The Photovoltaic Effect

Photovoltaic solar power generation is based on the photovoltaic effect

Photovoltaic is a coined word; Photo is light (photons are the elementary light particles), Volta was an Italian scientist in the early days of electricity. The word means: "converting light photons (light particles) directly into electrical current". The solar panel output is the electrical power it produces

The History of Solar Power

The history of photovoltaic effect is interesting. It started as an accidental discovery 170 years ago and evolved into a fast growing industry. It spreads more into both utility scale power plants as well as the residential solar power segment.

The Photovoltaic Cell

The photovoltaic cell is the smallest useful element that converts light to electrical power

Like is older brother, the chemical electric cell (known as a battery), it delivers direct current (DC) to its load.

The Photovoltaic Panel

A solar electric panel combines many photovoltaic cells in series and in parallel, scaling the voltage and current to fit the load

Brilliant use for small size solar electric panels are in the following areas:

click to view frequently asked questions on residential solar power systems

click to view more FAQ on residential solar electricity

More Residential Solar Power Reading

View this page for the advantages of solar over other energy sources.

What is the solar energy efficiency compared to conventional power plants?

Solar Power System Cost is obviously a consideration.

Solar power also can be used in the garden. click to view the solar powered water fountain page

What are the different types of solar energy conversion methods?

On utility scale power plants view the types of solar power page

Residential solar power and solar thermal systems are active solar power for homes

A technology that hitherto was limited to large-scale and medium-scale power plants starts to gain momentum in the smaller scale, residential solar systems niche. Magnifying optical gear is embedded in front of the solar panels, thus increasing their effective area. This reduces the number of panels and inadvertently the overall cost.
This fascinating technology is called Concentrated Solar Power Systems

click to view my home energy Home Page

This site for sale, affordable price

click to contact me for details

Jacob Mintz

Save $5 on any Opening Kit with Code SAVEFIVE!   solar panels Site Build It!

Save $10 on any 50lb+ Chlorine Bucket with code CH

click to search the content on this site