Get Familiar with Solar Terms Before You Upgrade

If you’re considering reducing your carbon footprint and/or cutting your electrical costs, switching to solar power might be a viable option. Solar power captures light from the sun and then converts it into energy. Before you consider making the change to solar power, it’s important to become familiar with common solar terms.

  • Photovoltaic (PV) – converts energy or light from the sun into electrical power
  • Solar cells – modules made up of PV cells  that are assembled together to convert the energy or light from the sun into electrical power
  • Solar array – an electrical array made up of many connected solar cells
  • Irradiance – a measurement of electromagnetic radiation per unit.  This is used to tell you how much solar energy is being absorbed by your PV module
  • Peak sun hours – the numbers of hours per day when solar radiance averages 1000 w/m2. For example, if the sun shines for eight hours , but only five of those were at 1000 w/m2 of radiance, then you have five hours of peak sun time
  • Photovoltaic module – also known as a solar panel, houses a collection of solar cells
  • Efficiency of solar cells – determines how much of the sun’s energy is actually converted into electrical power

By learning these common solar terms, you can make a more educated decision about heating and cooling your home with solar power. While this cost-saving alternative power system offers many benefits, it’s also important to know whether it will work for your home. Be sure to consider the location of your home, your cooling and heating needs, and how much of an investment is required to install a solar power system. You’ll want a skilled solar expert to consult with you about these issues, since you’ll want to get this right the first time.

For expert advice on solar power or other heating and cooling issues, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the greater Kansas City area since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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