A Quick Guide to Operating a Stand-Alone Solar Array

It doesn’t get much sunnier than Arizona. For that reason, The Copper State is the perfect place to install solar panels on your home or business.

Believe it or not, this clean technology is fully capable of supplying your home with enough power so that you can live off the grid especially if you combine a solar panel array with a compact wind turbine.

This is a handy guide that will help you grasp the basics of owning and operating your own solar array independently of your local utility company. It’s truly the most independent way you can live: harvesting your own electricity from the sun itself.

On-the-grid versus off-the-grid Stand-Alone Solar Array

Most residential solar panel installers will connect your solar panel array to your utility supply company. This utility manages the electric grid that services homes and business in your region; when you install solar arrays that are connected to this grid, the power you generate is fed into the grid and that cost is offset on your monthly bills. In other words, you are connected to the grid at all times.

If you prefer to be off that grid, you can install solar panels that are specifically designed to power your home and nothing else. This gives you the freedom to disconnect from a utility company and never have to pay energy bills again.

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How do solar panels work?

Solar panels, at their most basic, are made of photovoltaic cells. These cells catch sunlight and transform it into electric current, which can head directly for your microwave, television, and air conditioner.

The bigger your array, the more photovoltaic cells there will be to harness sunlight. Depending on your total sunlight and available space, your solar panel installers can help you determine how big an array your home will require.

What do solar panels cost?

This is a difficult number to pin down, but know this: solar panels aren’t cheap, and you probably won’t pay for them up-front with cash. They are more of an investment.

With that being said, the costs vary depending on how much regulatory red tape you must cross depending on your specific location and your local laws but since this type of energy is becoming more mainstream, expect these costs to become cheaper. There are already signs of this happening; you can earn government grants and incentives for solar installation Phoenix residents are already taking advantage of.

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