Most people know that solar installations take the sun’s light and convert it into energy, however how does this work? While there are very complex definitions and articles available, and our knowledgeable electricians would be happy to dive deeper into those finer details, should you have questions, we thought to provide a basic break down.
First, a common term you may hear regarding solar installations is “PV” or “PV System”. This stands for Photovoltaic. “Photo” meaning light and “Voltaic” meaning energy, therefore “light energy”- solar power. PV cells are synonymous with solar cells. Solar panels are made up of solar cells, and this is how they absorb the light from the sun. The energy is produced through the photovoltaic effect: when energy is produced by light.
An easily understood description is found in an article by The Renewable Energy Hub:
1. The sun shines on the solar panels and the panels absorb the energy, creating direct current (DC) electricity.
2. The electricity is fed into what is called a solar inverter. This converts the current into alternating current (AC) electricity.
3. The AC current is then used to power the appliances in your home.
4. Any power that your home does not need gets sent back (or sold) to the National Grid for others to use.
The DC energy is happening on the roof, and the AC energy is what powers your appliances. Furthermore, a way to store more energy that your system produces is would be to install a battery storage unit. This would allow the excess energy that your panels converted to be stored and used when production is lower than what your home/business is consuming, or if there was a power outage.
Endries Solar & Electric would be happy to answer any further questions that you have. Fortunately we have numerous NABCEP (National American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners), as well as extremely knowledgeable, experienced electricians and installers on the team. We are here to ensure that you are provided with any information needed to make an informed decision regarding your installation, as well as guide you through your building’s personalized project.