How Does a Solar Panel System Work?

Here's an example of how a home solar energy installation works. First, sunlight hits a solar panel on the roof. The panels convert the energy to DC current, which flows to an inverter. The inverter converts the electricity from DC to AC, which you can then use to power your home. It's beautifully simple and clean, and it's getting more efficient and affordable all the time.


However, what happens if you're not home to use the electricity your solar panels are generating every sunny day? And what happens at night when your solar system is not generating power in real-time? Don't worry, you may still benefit through a system called "net metering."*


A typical grid-tied PV system, during peak daylight hours, frequently produces more energy than one customer needs, so that excess energy is fed back into the grid for use elsewhere. The customer who is eligible for net metering may receive credits for the excess energy produced and can use those credits to draw from the grid at night or on cloudy days. A net meter records the energy sent compared to the energy received from the grid.


Adding storage to a solar system enhances those benefits even further. With a solar storage system, customers can store their own energy on-site, further reducing their reliance on grid electricity and preserving the ability to power their home in the event of a power outage. If the storage system includes software monitoring, that software monitors solar production, home energy use and utility rates to determine which power source to use throughout the day - maximizing the use of solar, providing the customer the ability to reduce peak-time charges, and the ability to store power for later use during an outage.

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