Chances are you’ve heard of solar panels and their environmental benefits, and you’ve seen them appear on roofs across your neighborhood. Solar panels offer sustainable electricity by generating power from the sun that can be used to provide electricity in a home. How do solar panels work? What benefits come with installing them on the roof of your Southern California home?
The Science Behind How Solar Panels Work
Solar panels are made up of many tiny cells, called photovoltaic cells, that are linked together. These cells are constructed from layers of semiconductive wafers—typically silicon—framed by metal and encased in tempered glass. One layer of each cell is positively charged, and the other is negatively charged. The role of these cells is to draw power from sunlight that will be converted into electricity.
So how do solar panels work?
The creation of electricity from solar panels happens like this:
- When sunlight hits the cells, photons are absorbed and electrons are released. The positively and negatively charged layers in the photovoltaic cells create an electrical field, which creates an energy current that allows these electrons to move toward conductive metal plates framing the cell.
- The energy current is directed into conductive wires along the edge of the solar panel.
- The wires carry the electricity into an inverter that converts the electricity from direct current (DC), the type of electricity collected by the solar panels, into alternating current (AC), the type used to power buildings.
- The AC electricity travels to an electric panel, or breaker box. Then it is used to power the house or building as needed throughout the day. Lights, appliances, and other electric devices inside the house will be powered by electricity generated from solar panels.
- Any electricity that is not used by the house or building is sent back into the grid through the utility meter, which measures the flow of electricity. When a property is creating more electricity than it is using, the amount saved will be credited on the electric bill. When solar panels are not creating electricity, such as at night time, the property will draw power from the grid. Alternatively, homeowners may opt to store excess electricity in a solar battery to use on cloudy days, at night, during a blackout, or in case of emergency.
Benefits of Solar Panels
Solar panels are an amazing technology that puts sustainable electricity within the reach of any homeowner. Benefits of solar panels include:
- Savings on electricity bills
- The option to go “off the grid”
- Clean, renewable energy
- Power in the event of a power outage or rolling blackout
- Tax breaks
- Cleaner air because they are non-polluting
- No transportation required to bring the electricity to your home
- Zero energy production costs
Solar panels work to make the world greener, save you money, and provide a cheaper and sustainable energy alternative. Are you interested in saving money and powering your home with sustainable energy?
Contact us today to get your free solar strategy scheduled and made for you.