How Solar Works
Did you know that the sun is the ultimate source for energy and fuels we use today?
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Step 1: Solar panels collect sunlight
Every solar panel contains something called photovoltaic, or PV, cells. PV cells take light and turn the light into electricity. When sunlight hits the solar panel, PV cells get to work by producing direct current (DC) electricity. This is all fine and well, but DC electricity can’t power your home. That’s where some other pieces of equipment come into the picture.
Step 2: Inverters convert the power to usable electricity
On the back of each solar panel is an inverter. The most important thing to know about the inverter is that it converts DC electricity—the unusable kind of electricity—into alternating current (AC) electricity—the good stuff. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Step 3: Electricity flows into net meter
AC electricity flows from the solar panels through efficient wires and cables into your net meter. Your net meter measures both the power you’re drawing from the grid and the excess power your solar panels are putting back onto the grid.
Step 4: Fire up the toaster
After electricity runs through your net meter, it makes itself comfortable in your home and powers all of your appliances. If your solar panels don’t produce enough energy to cover all of your needs, don’t worry. You’re still connected to the power grid, so you can automatically draw more energy whenever you need.