Solar power is arguably the cleanest, most reliable form of renewable energy available, and it can be used in several forms to help power your home or business. Solar-powered photovoltaic (PV) panels convert the sun’s rays into electricity by exciting electrons in silicon cells using the photons of light from the sun. This electricity can then be used to supply renewable energy to your home or business.
The inverter turns the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into 120-volt AC that can be put to immediate use by connecting the inverter directly to a dedicated circuit breaker in the electrical panel.
Solar photovoltaic cells consist of a positive and a negative film of silicon placed under a thin slice of glass. As the photons of the sunlight beat down upon these cells, they knock the electrons off the silicon. The negatively-charged free electrons are preferentially attracted to one side of the silicon cell, which creates an electric voltage that can be collected and channeled. This current is gathered by wiring the individual solar panels together in series to form a solar photovoltaic array. Depending on the size of the installation, multiple strings of solar photovoltaic array cables terminate in one electrical box, called a fused array combiner. Contained within the combiner box are fuses designed to protect the individual module cables, as well as the connections that deliver power to the inverter. The electricity produced at this stage is DC (direct current) and must be converted to AC (alternating current) suitable for use in your home or business.
Photovoltaic (PV) arrays are groups of PV cells connected together to supply more energy than a single cell could provide. PV cells are made from specially treated silicon that is made so the material has a positive side and a negative side, allowing it to transmit electricity. The cell is then attached to several other cells using metal connectors; that group of cells is connected to a frame for support, making a PV module. The modules are connected together to make a PV array with a single electrical output that can be connected to the rest of the system
Since the amount of energy generated by PV cells is directly related to the amount of sunlight hitting them, the output from a solar energy system is impacted by the position of the PV array in relation to the sun. To maximize the efficiency of the generation system, a solar tracker and array controllers can be used. The solar tracker will follow the position of the sun by using light sensors; the controllers can move the PV arrays based on the output from the solar tracker, ensuring that the highest possible amount of solar energy is generated.
Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight with photovoltaic cells, generating direct current (DC) energy and then converting it to usable alternating current (AC) energy with the help of inverter technology. AC energy then flows through the home’s electrical panel and is distributed accordingly. Here are the main steps for how solar panels work for your home:
Photovoltaic cells absorb the sun’s energy and convert it to DC electricity
The solar inverter converts DC electricity from your solar modules to AC electricity, which is used by most home appliances