Solar systems are fairly simple. The panels absorb light energy from the sun and convert it into power for your house. As the light hits the panels, it captures this light energy inside of photovoltaic cells. This energy gets sent to an inverter. There, it’s converted from direct current electricity to alternating electricity. The electricity is then ready to be used in your house. It can also be sent back to your electric grid to be used in the community. That’s how residents are able to get energy rebates from their providers! Excess energy can also be stored in back-up batteries. These optional devices can keep your energy going even when the grid goes down.
It’s entirely up to the individual whether they want to utilize a battery or not. Sometimes that’s simply based on affordability. Normally it’s encouraged by the installer to install backup batteries. It won’t completely separate the homeowner from the grid but it will limit their dependency upon it. This is especially important during a power outage.
How do solar systems make electricity?
1. The Sun’s rays hit the solar panel.
On a sunny day, the light will activate the solar panels. Each panel is manufactured in a metal frame. The panel contains a layer of silicon cells in a glass casing covered by a special film. To operate at an optimal level the panels are placed together to create an array. These arrays are affixed to rooftops or in open spaces free of shade. The photovoltaic cells gather sunlight during the day.
2. Solar cells begin to convert sunlight into electrical energy.
Inside of every solar cell is a thin silicon wafer that acts as a semiconductor. An electrical field is generated by one layer being negatively charged and the other positively charged. When the light from the sun hits a photovoltaic solar cell, it activates it. This makes electrons separate from atoms inside of the silicon wafer and generates an electrical current.
3. A little electric conversion has to happen.
The electricity that’s generated is direct current (DC) electricity. This is not the type of electricity that’s used to power a home. The kind of electricity that is used to power a home is called alternating current (AC). A device called an inverter is utilized to convert the direct current into usable alternating current. Some inverters can be used to service an entire array or micro-inverters can be attached behind each panel.
4. Now your home receives electricity!
When the direct current has been converted into alternating current, it travels through the electrical panel in the house. This alternating current gets distributed through the home to supply electricity. It operates exactly like the power that’s generated through a grid by an energy utility company. No changes need to be made to the electrical system in the house. The home is still connected to the utility company. If any additional power is needed it can be drawn from the grid.
What happens to solar power at night?
At night or on overcast days, the system may not be able to gather enough light to convert to electricity. When the sun is shining, solar panels collect light energy. If no one is home using power, this may generate surplus energy. A meter measures the amount of energy that is flowing in both directions (to and from the home). Utility companies often give credits for extra power that goes unused and is sent back to the grid. This is called net metering.
Get to Know the Home Solar Innovations for 2022 Available in Southern Colorado
Over the last decade, solar energy has come a long way. Solar system technology is more efficient and reliable than ever before. Steel City Solar is a local company that takes pride in delivering the best solar energy solutions to the communities in Colorado.
Our award winning team is here to answer any questions you may have. We’ll help you choose the best solar system for your home. Whether you want a rooftop array on your house or on the ground, we can help. We also specialize in commercial solar panel installation. For reducing your carbon footprint and saving on your monthly energy bills, it’s time to consider going solar. Having a solar system can also make you eligible for various rebates and tax benefits from the government. For more information give us a call today at 719-569-5166 and chat with one of our representatives. You can also visit our website to schedule a free estimate!