As a homeowner or business owner who is considering the installation of solar panels, you may be wondering how solar works. After all, before you commit to energy ownership, you want to be sure you have a solid understanding of how solar works and how it can serve as a cost-effective option for you and your home or business.
Solar energy is created when sunlight hits an electron in the first layer of a solar panel, which is made up of many small solar cells that are made of two different layers stuck together. When the sunlight hits the electron, it causes the electron to jump to the second layer. This electron then makes another electron move, which causes another to move. This chain reaction ultimately results in a flow of electrons, which translates to electricity. This electricity is then used to power your home or business.
After the electricity is produced by your solar panels, the current leaves the solar panel and passes through a wire conduit. This wire leads to an inverter, which is capable of inverting the direct current with a fixed voltage into an alternating current. The current then feeds into your home’s circuitry or into an electrical grid, which can then be used to power your appliances and everything else in your home in the same way as the electricity that you receive from your local utility company.
Most homeowners choose to stay “on the grid” after installing a solar panel system. When you stay on the grid, your home continues to be powered by the electric company. When your home makes solar energy, that energy is fed back to the grid and credited toward your account. In this way, you are guaranteed to have a constant flow of energy even on days that are exceptionally cloudy and during the nighttime. If you choose to go “off the grid,” you will need to have batteries that are capable of storing power to be used during those times when your solar module cannot capture enough energy from the sun to fulfill your needs at the time.