Solar Electric Photovoltaic or PV
  Solar Electric Systems - PV

The sun's heat and light provide an abundant source of energy that can be harnessed in many ways.  On any given day, the sun provides about 35,000 times the total amount of energy that humans use.  Solar power technologies, from individual home systems to large-scale concentrating solar power systems, have the potential to help meet growing energy needs and provide diversity and reliability in energy supplies.

 

Solar power can be used in both large-scale applications for commercial buildings and in smaller systems for the home.

 Sunlight—through photovoltaic technology—provides electricity.

Photovoltaics - PV

Using a photovoltaic (PV) system uses solar energy to convert sunlight directly into electricity. This active solar approach allows a home to generate some or all of its electricity on site. Photovoltaic solar cells, are made of semiconducting materials.With a PV system connected to the utility grid, it is possible for the homeowner to sell excess electricity back to the utility. Home PV systems are becoming steadily more affordable, efficient, and durable.
 
How we Mesure Electricity?

The ability to generate electricity is measured in watts. Watts are very small units, so the terms kilowatt (kW, 1,000 watts), megawatt (MW, 1 million watts), and gigawatt (pronounced "jig-a-watt," GW, 1 billion watts) are most commonly used to describe the capacity of generating units like wind turbines or other power plants.

Electricity production and consumption are most commonly measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A kilowatt-hour means one kilowatt (1,000 watts) of electricity produced or consumed for one hour. One 50-watt light bulb left on for 20 hours consumes one kilowatt-hour of electricity (50 watts x 20 hours = 1,000 watt-hours = 1 kilowatt-hour).

How Photovoltaic Systems Work

A home-based PV system relies on solar cells made of semiconductor materials to convert sunlight directly into electricity. When sunlight shines on the semiconductor material, the solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms. These free electrons then travel into a circuit built into the solar cell and create electricity. Each individual solar cell produces only a small amount of electricity but connecting them in larger panels or modules increases their electric capacity.

Normally, solar panels are installed on the roof. While PV solar systems can generate electricity without intense, direct sunlight, the sunnier the location, the better the system will operate. Home PV systems can be found throughout the United States. The southwestern region of the country is where PV systems are most common due to the large amounts of solar energy and sunlight found there.  Some systems are set up to be a Hybrid Wind/Solar Systems. 

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