How Solar Power Works
Although solar panels and the electronics that make them useable are a modern, sophisticated Space Age Technologies, all solar power systems operate in the same manner. A solar panel providing direct current or DC electricity when sunlight is shining on it, is connected to an inverter that generates grid quality alternating current, also called AC power. This new power source is tied to your house electrical system that is tied to the electrical utility grid. The inverters can be Micro-Inverters (shown above) where one is located by, and connected to each solar panel. Or, they can be String Inverters where a number of solar panels are connected to one large inverter. Regardless, they all convert solar generated DC power into useable AC power. One important thing to remember: These systems will not produce power when the grid is down. If you need or want emergency or backup power you will need to combine solar and a battery storage system, typically called a Hybrid System. See “Solar Power and Batteries”
The loads in your home such as lights, appliances, water heater, air conditioner and electronics use AC power. They are supplied from the electrical utility grid by a central electrical panel typically called the Main Electrical Panel (MEP). Your new solar system is tied into the MEP, or before it, so it supplies power to the house loads.
Whenever your home’s electrical usage is less than the amount of electricity your solar power system produces, the excess power is fed back into the grid through a special two- way meter that the electric company will install after your system has been inspected and approved. A special utility billing program called net metering credits you for this excess solar electricity production. In the best cases, the utility will pay you back for the power they receive from you at the same rate they charge you for the power you buy from them. This does not include taxes and other fees the utility may decide to charge you for using their electrical system.
How much can solar power save you?
Complete this short form to get a free, no obligation estimate of how much solar power could save you and a firm price quote for installation of a solar power system custom designed for your home and energy use. You will also receive details about our zero down, low interest financing.