How Does Home Solar Energy Work?

In 2014, the United States absorbed more solar energy than it emitted for the first time in history. With more people taking the renewable energy journey, homeowners are looking to install solar panels on their roofs to generate electricity. However, like most new technologies, not all solar panels are created equal. This article will outline some key differences between residential solar options so that you can decide which is best suited for your needs.

Size And Shading Considerations

Depending on your personal preferences, you may want to consider how large of a solar panel system you need. One size does not fit all when it comes to home solar. For example, if you have a small roof with only a few shades, you may not need a large solar panel system, as the sun will be able to reach the solar panel positioned directly above it during the day. If you have a large roof with lots of space and a few sun shades, you may want to consider a medium-sized solar panel system.

The shading on your roof will also play a role in determining how large of a system you need. If you have a mostly sunny roof with some shady spots here and there, you may not need as large of a system as if your roof were entirely sunny. Think about how much power you need and how much space you have to work with. If you can, take a look at your roof and figure out where the sun shines the most and position your solar panel there to get the most out of it.

Technology And Performance

The type of technology used in your residential solar panel system will also factor into how much power you get produced. For example, a silicon solar panel will generate more voltage and, therefore, more power than an aluminum solar panel. Check out our guide to the best solar panels for further explanation.

Another consideration is how well your chosen technology performs when exposed to sunlight. All technologies have a limit as to how much power they can produce, and when this limit is reached, the efficiency plummets. Before making your decision, do your research and find out just how efficient your chosen technology is compared to others.


Cost is another important consideration when selecting a residential solar energy system. The costs associated with buying and installing a residential solar energy system will vary based on how much power you need. For example, if you’re looking for a small system that will only power a few devices, you may want to look at the low-cost options available. However, if you’re looking for a large system that will power many devices, you may want to consider more expensive solutions.

To help you figure out how much power you need, take a look at your average daily energy use. If you live in a moderate climate and use a lot of energy daily, you may need a small system to help reduce your energy bills. However, if you live in a cold climate and need the heat, you may want to consider a medium system or larger one.

To learn more about the various types of residential solar options available, check out our comparison chart below. This way, you can find the one that suits you best.

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