Most of us are aware that cloudy skies impede the collection of solar energy, so we can wonder how on earth a solar-powered home could operate an air conditioner or heating system successfully. But they can, and they do so very economically.
How Solar Power Works
Before we get into how solar energy can cool or heat a home, let's take a look at how solar power works.
Though solar panels don't work at night, the panel system collects sunlight (known as photovoltaic energy, or PV) during sunny hours and stores it for later use as direct current, or DC power.
DC power is sent through the system and is converted to AC (alternating current power), which is the type of power the typical household runs on.
Today's solar energy systems are much improved over those of a few years ago, and though they collect less energy on cloudy days, they do collect some.
How Solar Power Works to Help HVAC Systems
A solar energy system can collect energy to use for a multitude of functions, from providing light, running appliances, and even heating and cooling your home. In instances where there have been too many cloudy days and not enough energy has been generated, some homes have backup systems to power lights, turn on appliances, or heat and cool the home. Regardless of the use, the solar energy generated costs nothing, so the homeowner saves money on power until there's a need to use the backup system.
Homeowners may have grid-tied utility systems where they can get energy backup when there is no sunlight or during the night. No batteries are needed with this system.
Off-grid systems, by contrast, require batteries. They are applicable for air conditioners, allowing homeowners to run them at night.
Solar energy can also heat water for water heaters, as well as for radiant-floor heating systems. The latter are known for providing even heating and for heating rooms at less than the cost of central heating.
For more on how solar power works, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, serving Neptune City.