It wasn’t so long ago folks were interested in getting more solar-electricity generated and used in actual applications. Today, there isn’t a state that does not have goals in place for this energy resource, or renewable portfolio standards that specify how and when solar generated electricity will be implemented. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, here below are the top ten states in early 2018 showing their rank, the amount of solar electricity generating capacity installed ( in MW-megawatts) and the number of homes “solarized”. Edison was very interested in solar energy way back in 1910. He would be smiling now.
Experience tells us the sun does not shine consistently across the U.S. as the map shown below indicates. It can vary quite a bit across a state, even across a small state like NJ where it is 13% more sunny in the southern half of the state. Not all states can be as sunny as the southwestern states. Dealing with those differences is what solar engineering is all about. Not so much sun as you would like basically means you need more solar panels to meet your needs-so solar system size is the answer and a consequent increase in installation costs to accomplish this. Smart engineering and energy conservation combined can make solar work in most areas.
Solar panels come in handy module sizes that can be plugged together to get the job done. How many you need for say your own home depends upon the electric load you have, the amount of sunshine available at your site, time of day you want to serve the load while the sun is available, and back-up power availability either through the local utility or via your own battery storage.
Panels can be installed directly on home roofs, adjacent garages and even incorporated into ground-mounted arrangements. Various tax credits are available to help defray installation costs, so jump in and learn about this exciting option for your home. Make Edison proud!