You may have seen solar panels on a roof or in a field and wondered how they work. Solar systems are comprised of just a few parts. Those parts work closely together to transform the sun's rays into electricity. Combining science, nature and technology, solar energy systems work hard behind the scenes to bring electricity into your home or building. The process starts with solar photovoltaic panels collecting energy from the sun. The energy is then filtered through the solar system and turned into clean power. Understanding how this process works requires learning about the different parts and the role that each one plays in creating electricity. Here's the lowdown on how solar technology captures the sun's energy to create power.
How Solar Photovoltaic Panels Work
Solar photovoltaic panels, which you can get from a Las Vegas solar company, are the most common type of solar technology. They use a unique electronic process to directly convert electricity from sunlight. Panels are comprised of cells that are made from silicon. Each cell has a positive and a negative side, which are placed together on opposing sides in a thin piece of glass. When photons from the sun strike the panels, positively charged electrons are released from the silicon. The electrons move to either the positive or negative side of the cell, where they then create an electric charge. Energy is transported through the system via wires, which string panels together in an array. The wires end in one or more electrical boxes called fuse array combiners. Each box has fuses and connections that power the inverter. Electricity in the fuse boxes starts as direct current (DC), but it's changed to alternating current (AC) electricity through the inverter before it is distributed through your home or business.
The Role of the Inverter
The inverter, which every solar photovoltaic system has, is a second key component. A Las Vegas solar company can help you determine an ideal location for the inverter, which is typically near the main electric panel. The inverter is hooked up to the net metering system, which in turn is connected to the electric grid. The net metering system sends as much power as needed to the building where the solar system is located. Any excess power produced can either be stored for future use or sent back to the utility provider. In exchange, you'll be rewarded with extra revenue!