Welcome to the monthly Sterling Homes Solar Update! Here at Sterling Homes, we are committed to giving you the best experience you will ever have building a home not just now, but in the future. For that reason, back in September of 2016, we had a solar array installed on the roof of the Sterling Homes office to create our own renewable energy. In this solar blog, I will be giving a quick update on our solar panels, but also trying to demystify solar and offer interesting insight into the world of renewable energy.
During the month of June, The solar panels mounted on the Sterling Office produced about 810 kWh of electricity. The carbon offset of this amount is approximately 1,230 pounds of carbon, the equivalent of 14 trees. This means that by using solar electricity instead of “regular electricity”, we offsetted the same amount of carbon as 14 trees. By using this system, we generated almost 90% of the energy that we used, which drastically cut down the electric bill to only $1.62 for the entire month. Talk about savings!
At Sterling Homes we can be your guide to building an energy efficient home, with options to include solar energy components. That being said, everyone is always talking about “solar this” and “solar that” but have you ever wondered exactly how the energy is captured? The sun generates both light and heat, and while they are both extremely important for life, neither of them can be used on their own as power. This is why solar power starts with converting sunlight into electricity with a solar cell, which is about the size of your palm. Solar cells are bundled into larger units called solar modules, which are bundled into even larger units called solar arrays (solar panels). A roof outfitted with solar panels could have several hundred individual solar cells. These cells are sometimes called photovoltaic cells because they use sunlight to generate electricity.
We think of light as being made up of very small particles called photons. When a beam of light hits a solar cell, it catches the photons and converts them into an electrical current. The job of a solar array is to collect all of the electricity from each solar cell to form a substantial amount of electric current and voltage. This can be forced to flow through an electric circuit and power anything that runs on electricity.
Most current solar panels are made out of silicon, because it is a semiconductor. This means that it normally doesn’t conduct energy but under the right conditions, it can. With more and more technology coming out every day, we might see solar panels being made out of other materials in the future.
Renewable energy is sustainable. Choosing solar power for your home comes with guaranteed savings on energy. Solar panels may seem complicated, but here at Sterling homes we are here to make sure that everything is as simple as you want it to be. We are here to guide you through the process of building or remodeling your home in a way that is efficient and sustainable.