How do Solar Panels Work?

How do Solar Panels Work?

How does a solar power system work? A solar power system consists of solar panels, inverters, batteries, wires, switches, and relays. These are all important components of a solar power system, but the most essential of them are solar panels. So how the solar panels produce electricity?

How do Solar Panels Work? It is simple. Sunlight falls on the solar cells, and voila, electricity is produced. This is known as the photovoltaic effect. These photovoltaic cells are made from silicon, which has the power to absorb energy from photons—found in the sun’s rays. The photons knock electrons off the silicon atom, giving them the freedom to move around. What does the movement of electrons mean? Electric current. But this is direct current (DC), not much friendly to our household appliances.

Since most of our electrical and electronic devices use alternating current (AC), we have to convert the DC to AC. To do so, an inverter system is attached to these panels. This inverter system convert DC into AC. From the inverter, this electricity is fed to your utility meter and from there, to the main switch. If this power is as per your demand, it is consumed at your home. If your solar power system generates more than you need, it is fed to the grid. Your meter keeps track of how much you consume and how much you give to the grid. This arrangement is called net-metering. If your state has a net metering policy, you may be able to sell the surplus power your system generates to your utility.

The cost of a home solar panel system is not the just the cost of solar panels. The cost of a whole solar power system includes the cost of solar panels, inverters, batteries, wires, switches, licensing and documentation, transportation, and installation. Homeowner who plans on installing a solar energy system need to confirm solar installer companies what they include in their solar quote. 

The costs of home solar systems may greatly vary from state to state, and even city to city. We discuss below what affects the cost of a solar panel system.

First of all, the climate of your region. Imagine two homeowners who need 10,000 kWh a year. One hails from California, another from Alaska—or Washington. The cost they’ll incur to install a solar PV system that meets their demands will be different. In California, the cost of such a solar panel system may be around $14,000. But the system for generating 10,000 kWh annually will cost homeowners of Washington more. Why? The answer is, the climates of both areas are different. How many solar panels you need for your home depends on the amount of sunlight your area receive every year. One may need 22 panels; another 28. This is why the cost of a solar power system differs across the country.

Secondly, your roof. When a solar installer company calculate the cost of your solar panel system, they take your roof parameters into consideration. Is it south-facing? Is it flat or have a pitch? If it is flat, the racking may cost you more. Does it have any shade? These parameters affect the efficiency as well as the cost of installing solar panels.

Thirdly, the quality of solar panels, inverters, and batteries is another factor. There are hundreds of solar companies manufacturing, or importing solar panels and allied equipment. If your solar installer is offering unbelievably low prices, make sure that you do not compromise on the quality. Another factor when it comes to the cost of solar panels is how they are manufactured. There are different types of solar panels namely monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels. The monocrystalline panels have the highest efficiency and are expensive as compared to the other two.

Lastly, how much the companies charge for the installation of solar panel system. Usually big companies cost more since they have more needs as compared to the small companies. Research carried out by EnergySage shows installing solar panels through large companies may not be the best choice as you will have to pay comparatively more.

If you are a homeowner who plans on installing solar power system, let us help you go solar. We offer competitive solar prices without compromising on the quality of the equipment we offer. Our solar panels come with a warranty of 25 years—but usually works more than that. What distinguish us from others is our solid customer support. From licensing to making the system run, our team will be in close contact with you to design and customize your solar power system to your preferences and needs.

Fill in this form and one of our energy advisors will reach out to you. We are offering FREE consultation to homeowners throughout the thirteen states we are operating in. How do Solar Panels Work?