Phoenix has one of the most solar-friendly climates in the country, with an average of 300 days of sunshine annually. Going solar by installing solar panels at home can drastically reduce your electric bills, saving you money while also benefitting the environment.
How does it work?
Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, convert sunlight into electricity using a process called the photovoltaic effect. When sunlight hits your solar panels, they generate direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter then turns that DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity which is what is compatible with household appliances and the electrical grid.
The AC power produced by the inverter can be used to immediately power appliances and devices in the home. However, if the system generates more electricity than is needed, the excess power can be fed back into the grid, earning credits or revenues depending on local regulations.
In some solar energy system setups, excess energy can be stored in batteries for later use when solar generation is insufficient, such as during the nighttime or cloudy days, which enhances energy independence and reliability.
Image dipicts how energy from the sun is captured, utilized to power a home and transfered back to the grid.
What about solar battery storage?
Individuals who generate their own solar energy at home or for their businesses have the option to store this energy using a solar battery. This solar battery setup allows for the storage of excess solar energy, which can then be utilized during nighttime, power outages, or to avoid high-demand electricity charges. When daylight emerges, solar power takes over as the primary energy source for the property. Should additional power be necessary, the property can draw from the utility grid.
During daylight hours when solar panels produce more energy than the property consumes, the battery system charges itself using solar power. This stored energy remains available for use when needed, such as after sunset when solar generation decreases or during a power outage when the grid is offline.
Image dipicts night time and day time solar and electric power conversion processes.
Contact the Office of Sustainably at:
Office of Sustainability
City of Phoenix
200 West Washington Street, 14th Floor
Phoenix Arizona, 85003