When it comes to solar systems, there are two types that one can consider when going green.  One is a solar electric system and the other is a solar thermal system.  Both of these systems make use of the sun’s energy (which is free) to power their homes, offices, and other buildings.  Both types of systems are usually available through a variety of solar system providers.  These providers can have different ways of evaluating and installing their systems, as well as, experience, and their costs and customer service can vary as well.  You’ll want to find a reliable company, sunbugsolar.com, in order to get the best of it all.

Before you talk to the professional, you should have a good idea of how solar works, the differences in systems, and their costs.  This way you’ll be more aware and understanding when you do talk with the professional.

A Solar Electric system also called a Photovoltaic (PV) system, converts the sun’s energy to electricity.  A Solar Thermal system uses the sun’s energy for making hot water.  It depends on your needs as to which system you prefer to save costs and energy.  Some MA homeowners and businesses choose both to go as far off the grid as possible.

A solar electric system usually uses 4 main components.  These components are: photovoltaic panels, an inverter, a net meter, and a monitor (some companies don’t provide a monitor).  The photovoltaic panels are what collect the sun’s energy.  The inverter converts this direct connection to alternative connection (which is the type used in homes).  The net meter is the device used to show the production and usage of the electricity (replaces the electric meter provided by the utility company, for free, by the utility company).  The monitor allows one to see how the system is working with production, as well as, the usage one incurs.

A Thermal system or hot water system consists of 3 main components.  These components are: heat collector panels, a storage tank, and a monitor.  The heat collector panels are usually placed on the roof by the installer to collect the sun’s energy.  The storage tank is used to store the hot water and is located in the basement.  The monitor again allows you to check the system’s performance.

The panels of each system absorb or collects the sun’s energy not just the rays.  This means that the sun doesn’t need to be shining brightly in order to produce electricity or hot water.  The energy collected in these panels is what produces the hot water or electricity.  In a solar electric system, the energy is converted into usable power and in the thermal system the energy is used to heat a fluid in the coils of the panel and pumped into the tank where a heat extractor takes the heat from the fluid to heat the water.  The water in the storage tank can reach 120 degrees.

Talk with a professional, sunbugsolar.com, if going green interests you.