Solar Electricity: How Does It Work?

With the current rage for solar electricity, it’s easy to think that harnessing the sun’s energy is a 21st-century concept. But scientists wrote about it as early as 1838, and by 1860, a Frenchman had patented his design for a solar-powered motor. Granted, there was no such thing as a “photovoltaic panel” or a “solar inverter” in the 19th century. But the sun has long been coveted as a potential energy resource. By the 1950s—at the dawn of the space program—the first commercially viable solar electricity products had arrived on the scene. So now that solar electricity has taken the nation by storm, many are wondering: How does it work? How does the sun’s energy travel through space, make its way through a photovoltaic panel, and power my dishwasher? Here, in a nutshell, is your answer: It begins with solar panels. The photovoltaic panel (or PV panel) is the system’s hotspot. Comprised of absorbent, silicone-based material, the panels—when struck by sunlight—generate electricity in the form of direct current (DC) voltage. However, our homes are powered by alternating current (AC) voltage, which means the voltage must be converted into what’s called VAC. This is where the solar inverter comes into play. Your roof area and size of your system determine how your panels are strung together. The solar inverter takes the various DC inputs generated by these panels and converts them into a consistent and usable 120 VAC. Then the electricity is sent to your meter. And now you’re ready to use the solar electricity you produced to run your vacuum, power your computer, and juice up your electric car. If you’re tied to the grid, as most of our customers are, you can send electricity back to your local power company and receive energy credits. This is often referred to as “spinning your meter backwards.” Amazingly, this whole process happens quietly, efficiently, with no moving parts—and best of all—without the harmful effects of fossil fuels. If you’re a science- or how-things-work geek, you can click here for a detailed explanation on solar energy, along with lots of cool diagrams. Save money, save the planet—convert to clean, quiet solar electricity today. Contact us for a free consultation and estimate at 866-974-6786, or click here to send a message now.
 

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Corbin Solar Solutions, LLC

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