How Solar Works

Photovoltaic (PV) cells divide electrons using a light source. This process creates the electricity used to power your lights, TV and other household items.

In a larger grid system, we can combine PV cells to create enough electricity to power equipment, homes, and even larger buildings.

PV cells that are connected to each other in a supportive frame known as a photovoltaic module are commonly known as solar panels.

HOW DO SOLAR PANELS COLLECT THE LIGHT?

PV cells take in light in the form of photons, which release free electrons that the solar panels catch and transform into direct current (DC) electricity.

As light strikes the PV cell, electrons get knocked loose from atoms inside the semiconductor material. Electrical conductors attached to negative and positive sides, as an electrical circuit, capture the free electrons inside an electric current.

Excess solar energy is stored in a battery and used when the sun is not available.

HOW DO SOLAR PANELS POWER YOUR HOME?

How much light hits the solar panel determines the current. Homes and offices, and their appliances, usually run on an alternating current (AC) power. So, solar panel systems come with a string inverter to convert the DC electricity generated by solar panels into AC power.

The electricity runs through the home’s net meter and powers your home. If hooked onto a grid, and the solar panels don’t cover all your needs, you can still use other forms of energy.

HOW MANY PANELS WILL I NEED?

In order for us to determine how many solar panels go on top of your home we’ll look at how many kilowatt-hours of energy you’ve used in the last year, the size of your roof, and how much solar energy you want to power your home.

WHAT HAPPENS TO LEFTOVER SOLAR ENERGY?

It goes back to the grid. You receive energy credits for surplus power from your utility company and you can accrue these over time to cut the overall cost. Your net meter measures energy going in and out of the home from the grid, but it measures power from two directions.

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