how solar works infographic

If you’re considering going solar with your home and/or business, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with how solar panels work.

Solar cells which are small, square-shaped panels made from silicon and other materials into thin layers. Solar cells are also referred to as “PV cells” or “Photovoltaic Cells.” Every day the sun hits your roof’s solar cells with photons (particles of sunlight). When the sun hits the solar cells they create a chemical reaction that releases electrons, generating an electrical current.

The solar cells convert the photons into electrons of direct current electricity. The electrons then flow out of the panel into an inverter. The inverter then converts the DC power into alternating AC power and that is then used to power your home.

A PV system is made up of groups of PV cells or panels, an inverter, wiring and framework. Everything is all wired together to track the movement of the sun all day long and improve your system’s effectiveness. This powers your lights, appliances, hot water, etc.

All houses have a utility meter which measures your energy usage.

Storing up energy during the day is what helps you offset your costs of needing to connect to the grid. When your system generates more power then you need, it stores it to be used at night or when to is cloudy and the sun can’t reach your solar panels. This system helps offset your nightly usage of the grid, saving you money. You connect to the utility grid at night and use the excess energy you stored up during the day. If you use all of your collected energy then you pay to use energy from the grid.

Solar can be adapted to just about any house or building. This system needs the sun to work, so it is wise not to install solar in any shaded areas. If your home is mostly in the shade, solar may not be the best option for you.

The Power Guide Monitoring System monitors all of the energy you generate and makes sure everything is working correctly. If in the event that something does go wrong, the system will alert repair crews that something is wrong and they can fix it.

The size of your PV system depends on how much energy you use, how much hot water you use, the size of your house, how much you want to invest and how much energy you would like to generate. You can measure your electrical load with this worksheet.

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