How does solar panel work
Solar panel systems are comprised of three fundamental components:, an inverter, and a solar gateway. Solar panels convert the sunlight that strikes your roof into electricity. Connecting a solar inverter to your s converts this electricity into clean energy that can be used to power your home’s lights and appliances. Solar energy used to power your home reduces the amount of energy drawn from the grid, thereby lowering your electric bill.
In this article, we’ll take a step-by-step look at how solar energy works.
How do solar panels work? A step-by-step guide
1. Solar panels convert sunlight to energy
Solar panels are exposed to sunlight throughout the day and convert it to energy via the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels, in their simplest form, consist of silicon cells that, when exposed to sunlight, generate free electrons that flow through an electrical circuit. Here is a comprehensive explanation of how solar panels work.
The number of solar panels required for your installation is determined by several factors:
- The amount of sunlight that your location receives
- Your roof’s angle and orientation
- How much energy do you consume on a typical winter and summer day
2. A solar inverter converts direct current to alternating current electricity.
The panels’ direct current (DC) electricity is then connected via electrical cable to a Solar Inverter, which is typically located near the switchboard. Because most appliances in a home or business run on alternating current (AC), the solar inverter’s job is to convert the direct current (DC) energy to alternating current (AC). There are numerous types and brands of inverters, and they must be sized appropriately for the solar panel array.
3. Switchboard routes solar energy to home appliances
The converted alternating current electricity is then connected to the switchboard for use as a power source. If the home is also connected to the grid, it will prioritize the use of inexpensive solar energy first, and any additional energy will be seamlessly drawn from the grid. If the solar system produces more energy than is required, the excess can be ‘exported’ to the grid for use elsewhere on the network.
4. Keeping track of utility meter readings
After solar is installed, the responsible retailer is required to upgrade to a bi-direction meter. The meter can then record all the power that is drawn to the house but also record the amount of solar energy that is exported back to the grid. Often there is a small cost for the household to pay to change over this meter. The recorded electricity that is exported back to the grid can earn a “feed-in tariff”
5. Solar Batteries
A solar battery is designed to store solar energy during the day and use (discharge) it at night when the solar panels are not producing power. To determine if battery storage is worthwhile, you must evaluate the missed feed-in tariff, the battery’s lifetime, and the total cost of installation.
Solar batteries may be linked to either the solar inverter (DC) or the switchboard (AC). Because batteries store energy in direct current, when they are linked to a hybrid solar inverter, the DC electricity generated by the solar panels can immediately charge the batteries. When the battery is depleted, the hybrid solar inverter transfers the energy to AC. When a battery is linked to a switchboard, it is said to be “AC Coupled,” which means it receives AC power. These batteries include an inbuilt inverter that converts alternating current to direct current in order to store it.
To finish the tale of how solar panels work, in a normal grid-tied system, the inverter supplies AC electricity to the home or business. Electrical loads such as lights, appliances, computers, air conditioners, and machines are powered by this alternating current.