How Solar Works
Harnessing the Sun
The sun’s capacity to provide energy needs for worldwide consumption is essentially unlimited. In fact, the sun generates enough energy in one hour to cover global energy needs for an entire year. Solar panel technology has enabled us to harness the sun and convert it into useful power sources. As you think about the value proposition of going solar, it is helpful to know how it works.
Solar cells, also called photovoltaic (PV) cells (photo meaning “light” and voltaic meaning “electricity”), convert the sun’s energy into electricity using semiconductors typically made of silicon. When the sun’s rays hit the solar cell, a portion of those rays are absorbed by the cell. The cells are electrically connected to each other and assembled to form a solar panel. The internal circuitry in the panel converts the sun’s rays into Direct Current (DC) electricity. The DC electricity is sent to a solar inverter where it gets converted into Alternating Current (AC) electricity, the most commonly used form of electricity in homes and businesses today. The AC electricity flows through the inverter to the breaker box, which directs the electricity to power lights, appliances and other electronic devices in your home, including powering your electric vehicle. Multiple panels can be wired together to form an array. The larger and more efficient the panel or array, the more power it can generate for your home.
Learn more from our blog post "How Do Solar Panels Actually Work?"