Understanding Your Solar Panel Installation
Solar panels look cool, but do you fully understand what they do and how the system works? Whether you are still just thinking about switching to solar or if you already have an existing solar panel installation, it’s important to understand exactly what those dark, shiny rectangles do!
Solar panels are made up of solar cells, which contain silicon. This naturally occurring material, reacts to sunlight with what is called a photovoltaic effect, hence the term “solar photovoltaic”. This simply means that when sunlight hits silicon, it reacts in such a way that its electrons detach and capture photons (light particles) and in doing so create energy.
This energy flows through the system and into an inverter, which converts the direct current produced by the sun and solar cells to an alternating current. The latter is what is used or can be used to power the lights and appliances in a home or the machines in an office or factory.
From the inverter, the alternating current flows into your main panel breaker. This is what regulates and distributes the flow of energy within the circuits. In other words, your main panel breaker makes sure nothing blows up.
Alongside the panel breaker, a meter records how much electricity is produced by your solar panel installation. Recording the energy produced is one of the most vital aspects of a solar energy system because it reflects both the efficiency of the system and the amount a single system feeds into the main power grid whenever it produces more than what the building or structure needs.
If connected to the main power grid, any system that produces more than what it requires will feed the extra energy into the power grid. The power company will then credit the person or company with the solar energy system. It then takes that extra power and distributes it. Which means that any system that produces too much not only saves money, but also shares power with its neighbours.
That is why, the more people, businesses, and institutions with solar panel installations, the more everyone gets to save money, reduce electricity costs, and lower pollution. It’s a simple solution that solves multiple problems, and benefits everyone.