How Does Solar Power Work?
Learn how solar can help you save
How Does Solar Energy Work?
So, you’re ready to get off the utility company’s rate-hike roller coaster but aren’t exactly sure how solar energy works? We’re glad you asked! Understanding how solar works is both important and actually quite simple.
During the day, sunlight is absorbed by the photovoltaic (PV) cells in your solar panels and converted into direct current electricity (DC electricity). Your home can’t run off DC electricity so it must be passed to an inverter that converts the DC into alternating current (AC) electricity. The AC electricity is then ran through a meter to monitor your system and the amount of energy its producing and the energy is then pushed to the main electrical service panel. Once the energy has hit the electrical panel it’s been fully converted and ready to power your entire home!
If the solar panels are producing more electricity than your home requires, the extra power is pushed back into the utility grid and you are given a credit for that energy. Monitored through the net meter, you are able to see the power you have pushed into the grid, as well as drawn from it.
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What Makes Up a Solar System
- Solar Panels – The panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity throughout the day.
- Inverter – The inverter is typically installed on an exterior wall and converts DC electricity from the panels into alternating current electricity (AC).
- Solar Meter – The solar meter keeps track of the amount of electricity your system generates.
- Electrical Panel – Distributes solar electricity and conventional electricity to power things like lights and appliances in your home.
- Net Meter – If you generate more power than you use your meter will spin backward and credit your utility bill. Your home will use conventional electricity when your system generates less, like at night.
Net Metering Explained
During the installation process, a net meter will be installed on your home allowing the utility company to track how much solar electricity you’ve produced and sent to the grid.
When your panels produce more electricity than you use, like on a sunny day when you’re at work, the unused power is pushed into the grid and you’re given a credit for that power. Your net meter would spin backward. When it’s dark out, and your system isn’t generating any solar power but you need electricity, you’ll draw it from the utility grid and your meter will spin forward to tell you how much you’ve used.
Your new utility bill will be the net difference between what you produce with solar and what you draw from the grid.
Getting Started With Solar
So, you understand solar, but you’re not sure how to get started? All it takes is a few minutes on the phone with one of our experienced consultants and you’ll be running on clean energy in no time.
After a few simple questions, and determining your home is a good fit for solar, we will provide you with a free, fully customized quote and diagram of your new system.
Together we’ll review your electricity bill and learn all about your energy needs to select the proper panels for your home and determine whether leasing or purchasing is best for you. When you’re ready simply sign the agreement and get ready to save!