Solar Power: Proven, Green and Affordable Technology

Most consumers know that solar power is generated by sunlight hitting solar panels, but how much do you really know about how solar energy is created?

Solar panels generate DC power, which is then converted to AC power by a piece of solar equipment called an inverter. The inverter feeds electricity to the building that is connected to the solar power equipment. Depending on the location of the building, the amount of solar panels installed and other factors, a solar power system can generate as much as all of a structure's energy needs.

Thanks to a solar power system, property owners may be able to effectively eliminate their energy bill while helping protect the environment by reducing harmful emissions associated with traditional power plants. Did you know that in one minute, enough energy falls from the sky in the form of sunlight to power the world for one full year? At Sullivan Solar Power, we believe it is time to harness this energy.

Solar Power History

Solar photovoltaic technology is not new in the United States. Silicon-based solar modules were first used commercially by Bell Laboratories in the 1950s. Solar power systems were originally used to bring small amounts of electricity to remote areas where it was not practical to bring in utility lines. Solar panels later were also used to fuel space exploration as the United States entered the space race in the 1960s.

Interestingly, the original silicon-based solar modules had conversion efficiencies of as little as 6 percent. Today’s silicon-based solar panels have efficiencies as high as 22 percent, so they are far more efficient than the original models. So, in just 60 years, solar power efficiencies have increased by an average rate of approximately 2.6 percent each decade. Silicon-solar modules have a theoretical maximum efficiency of 25 to 30 percent. Some of the modules installed in the 60’s and 70’s are still in operation today, so updating to a modern system can dramatically improve your property’s efficiency.

Solar Power Glossary of Terms

Solar power comes from the sun, which burns a fuel called hydrogen in a nuclear fusion reaction. The result is energy that is cast off into space in all directions, including towards Earth.

Here are definitions for some other solar power terms consumers may come across in their research.

Solar Panels:
Solar photovoltaic modules, also known as solar panels, consist of tiny individual cells, which convert solar energy into electricity. When the sun’s rays hit the modules, the cells generate a stream of direct current (DC) electricity and send it to an inverter for processing.
Inverter:
The inverter converts the direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity. Once converted to AC, it can be used to power homes or businesses.
Electric Meter:
The electric meter measures the amount of electrical power produced by the solar panel system, measuring it in kilowatt hours.
Electrical Panel:
Electricity generated by the solar panel system, along with the electricity provided by the electric utility company “grid,” is routed into the building through the electrical panel.
Data Acquisition System:
The electric meter reads electrical generation information from the inverter, usage data from the electrical panel, air temperature readings and other performance data and posts it to the Internet. Users can log in to Sullivan Solar Power’s secure web site and view their property’s energy usage and other data in real time.

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  • Our experience was wonderful. They made sure we were well informed and were never pushy for the sale.

    - C Paulsen
  • Very professional, nonintrusive to my home. Worked around my schedule, EASY to work with, no misleading information.

    - D Acosta
  • With no money out of pocket, we now have become part of the solution to our country's energy problem.

    - P Gable
  • Sullivan took my $700 SDG&E bill to 29 cents! I think that says it all.

    - J Hemmi
  • If I knew it was going to be so simple and painless I would have gone solar years ago.

    - D Bajek
  • Everyone worked on my home as if it was their own.

    - D Navarro
  • Sullivan, by far, provided the best system value and the best long term opportunity to save money through solar power.

    - K Hord
  • This is a no-brainer in sunny San Diego. Very easy process. I helped the environment, fixed my electric bills and saved money too!

    - C Young
  • First rate.

    - A Wilson
  • I love watching my electric meter go backwards. Thank you Sullivan!

    - J Sanders
  • Outstanding.

    - B Maxon
  • There are so many options in the growing solar market and if we had to do it all over again, we would choose Sullivan Solar Power.

    - C Minegar
  • Sullivan was the best priced of four different contractors and was the most professional and prepared.

    - K Allin
  • Sullivan Solar Power is the one solar installer I trusted to do the job properly the first time.

    - J Conlin
  • All I can say is - excellent work delivered by a professional team.

    - L McJannet
  • We are totally happy to be doing our part to save the planet and save money.

    - A Gilleran
  • We recieved quotes from 4 companies and Sullivan was by far the most professional in their proposals and also most accurate in their production estimated by far.

    - M Rupe
  • Sullivan Solar Power proved to be an excellent choice after researching solar contractors; they were knowledgeable, professional, courteous, and accurate with their estimate.

    - J Coppola
  • The planning of our system by Sullivan, dealing with the city on approvals, installation and time to energy production was perfect. All expectations were exceeded.

    - V Lauderdale
  • The sales was professional and installation was professional. I loved the products, other companies wanted to use Chinese parts, not you. Thank you so much.

    - D Brown
  • From the beginning to end your team did an outstanding job. Thank you and God bless you all.

    - L Eddingfield
  • This has been one of the best purchasing (leasing) experiences I have had in years. The system is top grade and so were the people. Customer service was unparalleled.

    - Q Yates
  • Any chance of getting the system to generate power at night? Just kidding! It’s a hoot to watch the meter spin backwards :)

    - R Oepicks
  • Delivered what they promised, on time.

    - M Wahl
  • From the moment I called their offices to after the installation follow up has been a pleasure having Sullivan move me into the Solar age!

    - S Dabiri
  • I've been a contractor for 37 years and I know when a company is doing it right. Sullivan did it right.

    - G Smith
  • Pushing a little bit of our beautiful, plentiful San Diego sun into the grid should be as easy as going to the beach, and it was with Sullivan Solar.

    - H Richter
  • Excellent! Provides 110% customer satisfaction. Thank you for going above and beyond to accomidate our needs; very appreciated.

    - A Rorstad
  • The team was the most knowledgeable and professional of the companies we interviewed.

    - J Albarella
  • Absolutely outstanding!!!

    - F Fair
  • There is a reason why they are the leader- seamless installation and integration. All my questions were answered.

    - L Wilton
  • We would highly recommend Sullivan to our friends as they did an amazing and professional job.

    - J Jul
  • Sullivan Solar made our experience in going solar worry free.

    - J Barcellona