How Solar Works
The following is an explanation on how sunlight becomes electricity and the equipment needed to produce solar electricity.
- Solar Panels: The solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity during the day. Solar cells are usually made of silicon and solar panels last for 25 to 30 years.
- Racking: Is the structural framework that attaches the solar panels to your roof.
- Inverter: This device converts the DC electricity produced by the solar panels into the alternating current (AC) electricity, which is the foundation of our national electrical system.
- Electric Panel: The AC electricity is sent from the inverter to your electric panel to power your lights and appliances.
- Utility Meter: The utility meter measures your energy use. It actually goes backward when your system generates more power than you are immediately using. The extra electricity that you are not using is fed back into the grid and you will receive a credit from your utility. This is called net metering.
- Utility Grid: Your home or business is still connected to the grid, the system of wires that carries and transmits electricity. You will use power from the utility at night when your solar system is not producing electricity. This cost is offset by any excess solar energy you put into the grid during the day.
- Monitoring System: This tracks your energy production and enables you to see that your solar power system is operating properly.