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August 16, 2023

How Solar Power Works: A Simple Explanation

  • Solar Technology

Imagine powering your home with the same radiant energy that lights up the morning sky! Since the mid-2000s, solar power hasn’t just been a trending topic—it’s become a household name, transforming rooftops and changing the game of renewable energy. Thanks to technological leaps, more wallet-friendly solar solutions, and a global rally for a greener earth, more homes are embracing the sun’s power than ever before.

But how does solar power actually work? Keep reading and we’ll break down the basic principles.

The Components of a Solar Power System

A solar power system is made up of three main parts: solar panels, an inverter, and a gateway.

Solar panels are the most visible part of the system. They are usually installed on the roof or on the ground, facing south or west to get the most sunlight. Solar panels are made of many smaller units called photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are the key to converting sunlight into electricity.

An inverter is a device that converts the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used by your appliances and devices. The inverter is usually located near your electrical panel or meter.

A gateway is a device that connects your solar panel system to the internet, allowing you to monitor its performance and output. The gateway also communicates with your utility company, if you have a net metering agreement that lets you sell excess electricity back to the grid. Contact your local utility provider for more specific information about selling electricity back to the grid.

The Process of Solar Energy Conversion

The process of converting sunlight into electricity by solar panels involves four main steps:

Sunlight hits the solar panels. The photons, or particles of light, in the sunlight, knock electrons free from atoms in the PV cells, creating an electric potential difference across the cell.

DC electricity is generated by the PV cells. The electric potential difference causes electrons to flow from one side of the cell to the other, creating a direct current (DC) of electricity. Each PV cell produces a small amount of voltage, but when connected together in series and parallel circuits, they can generate enough voltage to power your home.

DC electricity is converted to AC electricity by the inverter. Most appliances and devices in your home use alternating current (AC) electricity, which changes direction 60 times per second. The inverter changes the DC electricity from the solar panels into AC electricity that matches the frequency and voltage of your utility grid.

AC electricity is used by your home or sent to the grid. The AC electricity from the inverter flows through your electrical panel and powers your lights and appliances. If you produce more electricity than you need, you can send it back to the grid and get credit from your utility company, depending on your net metering agreement.

Simple, Renewable Energy

While the technology can seem complex, the basic principle of converting sunlight into renewable energy remains simple: sunlight hits solar panels, generating DC electricity that is converted by an inverter into usable AC electricity for your home. Solar power provides a clean, sustainable solution to meet our growing energy needs. With proper installation, a solar system can provide decades of reliable, zero-emission power and help move us toward a more renewable energy future. To learn more about the many benefits of why solar could be a great benefit to your home, click here

Don’t miss out on harnessing the abundant power of the sun! Join the green revolution with Solcius and transform your home into a beacon of sustainability. Call one of our solar experts today at 800-SOLCIUS (800-765-2487) to get started with your free solar proposal.

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