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Solar 101

How Solar Works

How does solar electric work?

Solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity. The process of changing light (photons) into electricity (voltage) is known as the photovoltaic effect. The electricity travels through wires to conditioning equipment and then into your house. If your system is grid-tied (connected to the utility grid) then any excess electricity you produce will travel back to the grid and your meter will run backward. If your system is off-grid (not connected to the utility grid) then your excess electricity will be stored in a battery.

  1. Solar Panels
    Solar panels absorb solar energy for conversion to electricity.
  2. Inverter
    The inverter converts solar electricity generated by the solar panels from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) for household use.
  3. Net Meter
    When production exceeds use, the meter spins backward and homeowners receive credit from the local utility.
  4. Performance Monitoring
    An optional monitor provides a private and secure means for observing power output. Monitoring can ensure maximum power output and allow homeowners to view their energy production and usage.

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