How Does Solar Energy Work To Produce Electricity

Solar panels collect light and turn it into usable electricity, as you know. What you may not understand, however, is that the electricity truly comes from photons produced in the center of our sun zooming their way to our atmosphere as light particles. And they sure do carry a lot of energy: they only require about eight minutes to shoot from the sun to earth, which is a 93-million mile trip.

When these photons make their approach to your photovoltaic panels (solar panels), they have been found in what is basically a glass and silicon sandwich, with added chemical “condiments,” if you will. The extra elements, like boron and phosphorus, are picked because of their positive or negative charges, respectively, since silicon is neutral. And, simply to clarify, a negative charge means that there is an additional electron someplace in the atoms’ outer bands along with a positive means that there is an empty spot for one or more added electrons there.

What occurs when the photon smashes its way into this mixture is that an added electron from the silicon-and-phosphorus negative bond, and this electron makes its way around to the silicon -and- boron positive compound. As more and more electrons travel in this fashion and are separated, electricity is created when the wiring that was attached begins sucking in these free-range electrons. This, consequently, ends up powering all of our electronic things at home.

how solar works


Rain or shine, the sun’s rays hit our earth each and every day. Energy coming from the sunlight is not only plentiful but it is also free and renewable.

2.Solar Panels

Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells. These cells convert sunlight into direct current electricity. As long as rays are hitting your roof, rain or shine, your panels are converting solar radiation into DC electricity.

3.DC to AC

Being that direct current electricity is similar to the power you get out of a battery, it is not the same power that runs through power grids. So in order to get the kind of power that you need to turn the lights on in your house, you’ll need an inverter to convert the power from your panels into power for your home.


An inverter, or multiple inverters, take the DC electricity produced by your solar panels and turn it into alternating current electricity (AC electricity). Inverters are usually installed on the exterior of your home or in your garage.

5.Your Homes Electrical Panel

Your inverter will connect into your homes main electrical panel and provide it with power. Solar electricity from your inverter flows to the electrical panel, and then into to your home where it powers your lights and appliances. Or, if you generate more solar energy than you use, it will flow back into the electrical grid.

6.Your Meter

Your meter is designed to record your energy usage. However now that your new solar panel system is now connected to your meter, it will not only measure the amount of energy you draw from the grid but also measure how much energy you push into it. So in simpler terms, when you use less energy than your system creates, you will get a credit from your utility company.

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