How solar works

In the simplest of terms, solar Photovoltaics (PV) is a renewable energy technology that uses panels, made up of a semi conductive material, that absorb the sun’s light and convert it to electricity.

The basics:

    • SOLAR PANELS. Solar panels absorb solar radiation, converting it into low-voltage direct current (DC) electricity.
    • INVERTER. The DC electricity then travels from the panels to the inverter, where it’s converted into 120-volt alternating current (AC) electricity—or electrical current you can actually use to power your home, business, or electric car.
    •  ELECTRICAL PANEL. From the inverter, the AC power continues on to the electrical panel, or breaker box, where it’s distributed as needed.

When you produce more electricity than you use, the excess flows through the utility meter, back to the electrical grid—this spins your meter backwards and you receive credit from your utility company, courtesy of net metering.

Systems may also include:

  • BATTERY BANK. In larger systems, excess energy powers a group of batteries, or a battery bank. This allows you to power your home or business during down times—when your panels are not producing or the electrical grid is down.