In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains the complexities of today’s solar power systems.
What to Know About Solar Panel Systems
- Solar thermal panels are used to create domestic hot water. The panels are filled with antifreeze or evacuated tubes.
- A typical thermal-panel system can produce 65 to 70 percent of a home’s hot water needs.
- A photovoltaic (PV) system transforms the sun’s energy into direct current (DC) electricity.
- An inverter mounted inside the house converts the DC power to standard alternating current (AC), which is then used to power lights, appliances, and other electrical devices.
- If the PV system produces more electricity than you can use, the excess gets sent back to the power company and you receive a credit on your electric bill.
- Solar companies are now offering power purchase agreements to homeowners, which include a free solar system in exchange for government rebates.