Solar Basics

How Solar Works ?

1.Solar panels capture sunlight and convert it to DC electricity

2.Your solar system converts that energy to an AC current that can power your home

3.Energy you don’t use goes back to the utility grid and creates an electricity “credit” for you

Solar panels convert sunlight into clean, efficient energy that can power your home year round. When the sun shines, the electricity travels from the panels through wires into a piece of equipment called an inverter. An inverter converts the type of electricity produced by the panels (called Direct Current, or DC) into the type of power your house uses (called Alternating Current, or AC). Once the electricity goes through the inverter, it travels into your home’s electrical panel. At night, when your panels are not generating electricity, you continue to get electricity from the local utility. But during the day, your solar panels can produce more power than you consume, feeding power into the utility grid, supplying clean electricity to your community and spinning your meter backward.

SOLAR SITE EVALUATION TIPS

The amount of energy generated from solar panels depends on the size of the system that is limited only by your available roof space and your budget. It’s possible to supply 100% of your home’s electricity from solar panels, but most solar homes are “hybrids”, with part of their electricity coming from panels and part from the utility grid. The more direct sunlight your solar panels receive, the more power they produce. A high quality installation location means that your solar panels can more efficiently generate power, meaning more electricity savings for you. Several factors are considered to ensure you get the most out of your solar panels:

Roof Area

Available roof space—along with your budget—determines how large of a system you can install. The larger the system, the more power it can produce.

Roof Orientation

Does your roof face north, south, east, or west? South facing roofs are ideal for solar, since they will ensure maximum sun exposure—although you could still be a good candidate for solar even if your roof isn’t oriented to the south.

Roof Shading

Do any trees, adjacent homes, or other obstacles block sun exposure on your roof? Excessive shading will compromise your system’s performance, but sometimes this issue can be resolved by trimming trees or considering a ground mount system.