How Does Solar Energy Work?

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems convert light from the sun into usable electricity by exciting electrons in silicon cells using the photons of light. The electricity that is produced can be used to supply renewable energy to homes and businesses.

Solar PV Panels are modules that are normally installed on roofs that contain photovoltaic cells made from silicon placed under a thin slice of glass. As the photons of the sunlight hit these cells, they knock the electrons of the silicon. The negatively charged free electrons are attracted to one side of the silicon cell, creating a voltage that can be channelled and collected. The electric current produced at this stage is DC (Direct Current) and will be later on converted to AC (Alternating Current) suitable for use in homes or businesses.

The current produced by the modules is then transferred to an inverter, which is responsible for turning the DC voltage received to AC, and deliver it via the electrical panel to the building, storage system or grid.

In a solar photovoltaic system that is tied to the utility grid, the power is “net metered” which means it reduces or eliminates the demand for power from the grid when the system is generating electricity and uses the grid power in the night time or when the PV system is not producing enough. If there is excess energy from the PV system production and the grid usage, it is transferred to the next billing period and the NET METERING customer is able to consume it in one year’s time.