July 12, 2022
How Do Solar Panels Work? Solar power works by transforming light from the sun into electricity. When it is not required, this energy can then be used in your home or exported to the grid. This is achieved by installing solar panels that produce DC (Direct Current) electricity on your roof. This is then fed into a solar inverter that transforms the DC electricity into AC (alternating current) electricity from your solar panels.
1. Your solar panels consist of photovoltaic (PV) silicon cells. The solar PV cells absorb the sunlight’s rays when sunlight hits your solar panels and electricity is created through the Photovoltaic Effect. The electricity generated by your panels is called Direct Current (DC) electricity, and your appliances are not suitable for use in your home. The DC electricity is instead guided to your central inverter or micro-inverter, depending on your system setup.
2. DC electricity can be transformed into alternating current electricity (AC) by your inverter, which can be used in your home. The AC electricity is guided to your switchboard from here.
3. A switchboard makes it possible to give your available AC electricity to the appliances in your house. Your switchboard will still ensure that your solar energy will be used first to power your house, only when your solar production is not enough to access additional energy from the grid.
4. Both solar households must have a bi-directional meter (utility meter), which will be installed for you by your electricity retailer. A bi-directional meter is capable of recording all the energy drawn into the building but also of recording the quantity of solar energy exported back to the grid. This is called net-metering.
5. Any solar energy that is not used is then sent back to the grid. You can receive a credit on your energy bill, called a “feed-in tariff” (FiT), by exporting solar power back to the grid. Your energy bills will then take into consideration the electricity you buy from the grid, plus credits you don’t use for the electricity generated by your solar power system.
You don’t need to switch it on in the morning with solar power or turn it off at night, the machine will do this smoothly and automatically. You also don’t need to switch between solar power and the grid, since depending on the amount of energy used in your house, your solar system will decide when it is best to do so. In fact, a solar system needs very little maintenance since there are no moving parts, which implies that you will hardly know it’s there. This also means a solar power device of sufficient quality can last a long time.
Your solar inverter usually mounted in your garage or in an accessible spot will provide you with information such as the amount of electricity produced at any given time or how much it has generated since it was operational for the day or in total. Wireless networking and advanced online tracking are featured on several quality inverters.
Don’t worry if it seems complicated; one of our experts here at JNA Solar will direct you through the process of how solar power functions.