How Does Solar Work

Many people have questions about the science and technology behind the magic of solar energy. Understanding how solar panels turn energy from the sun into energy for your home is really fun to know and easier to explain than most would believe it to be.

Solar Science Basics

The sun emits energy in waves containing particles called “photons”. Modern solar panels are made mostly out of Silicon which is photo-voltaic, meaning “light-energy”.
Silicon electrons become excited when photons from the sun hit the panels. Excited electrons jump out of their normal position in the Silicon molecules and travel around the solar panel, creating electricity.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar panels are made from Silicon thinly sliced into wafers, and processed into solar cells by infusing the Silicon with Boron and Phosphorus to make it more conductive. The complete solar cells are arranged on a conductive back sheet, pressed between plates of tempered glass, and framed in metal. Solar panels are designed to be extremely durable in all types of weather conditions and to be long-lasting.

 

Solar Array Equipment Basics

Your complete solar array has a few basic components: Panels, Racking, Conduit, Inverter, and Production Meter/Net Meter. The Panels produce electricity. Racking secures panels to the roof. Conduit is piping used for the safe placement of electrical wiring. The Inverter converts Direct Current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panels into Alternating Current (AC) which is used in our homes. The Production Meter monitors how much electricity your solar panels are producing, and the Net Meter from the utility company calculates how much electricity you produce from solar vs. how much supplementary electricity you might still use from the grid.

Solar Installation Basics

Your solar installation experience should be nice, easy, and convenient, meaning you should have a courteous crew on your property, the installation should go smoothly, and it should be done on a timeframe that works for you. Our crew will arrive at your home or business with all the necessary equipment and will treat your property with care. The installation process usually only takes 1-3 days depending on the system size, and the complexity of the system design.

System Activation Basics

Once the installation is complete, the last step is waiting for the utility to give us Permission to Operate (PTO). Your solar system is ready to produce power, but the utility needs to do a final inspection and verify that the installation is up to code. It may take some time for the utility’s inspector to be able to visit your home, anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. When we get PTO, we can flip the switch to turn your system “On!” and start producing clean energy.