Hello all! I am Sam Landage and I work as a Solar Project Engineer at GAIN Renewables. I am a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional, and I have a master's degree in Solar Energy Engineering. I have been working in the solar industry for the past four years designing and engineering residential and commercial solar energy systems. For those of you who have been wondering all along “How Solar Works,” I am here to answer your question for you! It is simpler than you think!
The answer is divided into four simple steps:
1. The sun’s energy produces photons (energy particles emitted by the sun). When these photons hit a solar panel, they are converted into electrons (primary carrier of electricity). As electrons pass through the cells of a solar panel, they are converted into Direct Current (DC) electricity.
2. The DC electricity is sent to a device called the ‘inverter’ which converts the DC into AC (Alternating Current) power. This conversion is necessary because we use AC power in our homes and at our businesses.
3. The converted AC power now runs through your home or your business and powers all your appliances and saves you money on your utility bills.
4. The extra energy produced by your solar system is sent back to the electric grid and you receive credits from your utility for producing that extra power! VOILA! Since you are exporting energy back to the grid, this process is called net metering.
Now that you know how Solar works, it is time to go green!