The Best Solar Systems For Less

Solar Electricity - How It Works

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How Solar Cells Work

Solar cells convert one form of energy (sunlight) into another form of energy (electricity). When the sunlight is reduced or stopped, for example, when a cloud passes in front of the sun or when the sun goes down in the evening, the conversion process slows down or stops completely. When the sunlight returns, the conversion process resumes. Solar cells do not store electricity. At night, a solar electric system needs some form of energy storage, usually batteries, to draw upon instead of the solar cells.

Solar cells perform the conversion without moving parts, noise, pollution, radiation or maintenance. The special properties of semiconductor materials make this conversion possible.

Semiconductors

Most solar cells are made from silicon, the 14th element. Other materials are used as well, but the fundamental process of how those cells work is the same as for silicon cells. Silicon has properties of both a metal and an insulator. Atoms in a metal have loosely bound electrons that flow easily when a voltage, or electrical pressure, is applied. Atoms in an insulator have tightly bound electrons that cannot flow even when a strong electric voltage is applied.

Atoms in a semiconductor bind their electrons somewhat more tightly than metals, but more loosely than insulators. Their electrical conductivity can be varied by a factor of thousands by introducing small amounts of impurities, or "dopants," into the semiconductor structure. The two elements typically used to dope silicon are phosphorous and boron. [More...]


ONAAT SAVINGS ARE DRAMATIC


Our neighborhood solar 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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