The Best Solar Systems For Less

Solar Electricity - How It Works

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How Solar Cells Work - Cell to Cell ... To You

The internal electrostatic field pushes free electrons to the front of the cell. They lose a bit of their energy being pushed through the field, but end up with about one-half volt of potential. This is the voltage of the solar cell. One-half volt is not much, so a typical solar module is made of many solar cells connected front-to-back in series. Electrons flow along the surface of a solar cell and into thin silver gridlines that cover the entire cell surface. In a good conductor like silver, the electric current flows easily into flat tin-coated copper ribbons soldered to the front of the cell, and into the back of the next solar cell.

As the current flows through each solar cell, it is energized by the photons striking and entering each cell, gaining a net one-half volt in each cell. By the time the electric current has passed through the entire solar module, usually 36 cells in series, it has gained about 36 x 0.5 volts = 18 volts. If more voltage is needed, for example, to charge a 48 volt nominal battery bank or operate an inverter at 60 volts-solar modules are also connected in series to make a solar array suitable for the task.

The solar electric current flows through the inverter or battery bank, giving up its energy to the electric loads being operated. The electrons do not disappear; they just lose their energy, or voltage. The current flows continuously back through return wires to the original solar module and cells. The de-energized electrons flow back into the silicon to be re-energized by more photons from the sun. The process continues as long as there is a flow of photons.

If a cloud passes by, the intensity of the photon flow is diminished, and the amount of current flowing from the cells and entire array diminishes proportionally. When the cloud passes away and full sunlight reappears, the flow of electric current rises back to full level. As the sun slowly sets in the evening, the current is reduced until finally at darkness there is no electric current flow from the solar array at night. The next morning, the process begins again automatically.
Courtesy General Electric Corporation

ONAAT SAVINGS ARE DRAMATIC


Our neighborhood program's installed price of $5.49/watt is 15% to 30% less than the prices typically charged for a comparable system in New York. You can see how this translates to your bottom line after you apply the Utility Rebate, Federal Tax Credit of 30% and the NYS Tax Credit of 25% in the Sharp Sample Systems Below.

Sharp 4.230 KW Solar System:

Typical New York ONAAT
Price: $27,500 - $34,000 $23,000
Net Cost 1 : $ 9,000  - $13,000 $ 6,000

1 Net Cost After Utility Rebate and NY State and Federal Tax Credits)

Sharp 6.345 KW Solar System:

Typical New York ONAAT
Price: $41,000 - $51,000 $35,000
Net Cost 1 : $15,000 - $22,000 $10,000

1 Net Cost After Utility Rebate and NY State and Federal Tax Credits)

Sharp 9.400 KW Solar System:

Typical New York ONAAT
Price: $61,000 - $75,000 $52,000
Net Cost 1 : $25,000 - $35,000 $18,000

1 Net Cost After Utility Rebate and NY State and Federal Tax Credits)

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