Solar power works by converting light from the sun into electricity. This electricity can then be used in your home or exported to the grid when it’s not needed. This is done by installing solar panels on your roof which generate DC (Direct Current) electricity. This is then fed into a solar inverter which converts the DC electricity from your solar panels into AC (Alternating Current) electricity.
Your solar panels are made up of silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells. When sunlight hits your solar panels, the solar PV cells absorb the sunlight’s rays and electricity is produced via the Photovoltaic Effect. The electricity produced by your panels is called Direct Current (DC) electricity, and which is not suitable to be used in your home by your appliances. Instead, the DC electricity is directed to your central inverter (or micro inverter, depending on your system set up).
Your inverter is able to convert the DC electricity into Alternating Current (AC) electricity, which can be used in your home. From here, the AC electricity is directed to your switchboard.
A switchboard allows your usable AC electricity to be sent to the appliances in your home. Your switchboard will always ensure that your solar energy will be used first to power your home, only accessing additional energy from the grid when your solar production is not enough. With solar power, you don’t need to switch it on in the morning or switch it off at night – the system will do this seamlessly and automatically. You also don’t need to switch between solar power and the grid, as your solar system can determine when is best to do so based on the amount of energy being consumed in your home. In fact a solar system requires very little maintenance (as there are no moving parts) which means you’ll hardly know it’s there. This also means a good quality solar power system will last a long time.
Your solar inverter (usually installed in your garage or in an accessible spot), can provide you with information like the amount of electricity being produced at any particular point in time or how much it has generated for the day or in total since it has been operating. Many quality inverters feature wireless connectivity and sophisticated online monitoring.
If it seems complicated, don’t worry; one of our Energy Consultant’s will guide you through the process of how solar power works either by phone, email or via a no obligation home consultation.
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