How Solar Electrical Systems Work

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With the rising popularity of solar installations, it’s helpful to know how solar works when purchasing a system.

Photovoltaic technology produces electricity from sunlight by converting DC energy to useable AC power. The interaction of sunlight with the semiconductor materials in the PV cells frees electrons which creates electricity. This electricity can then be either used immediately in the home or building, or sent back to the grid for credit.

The amount of sunlight available at a given location is called the Solar Insolation or Solar Resource. The electrical production of a PV array depends on the Solar Insolation of the location, as well as the orientation of the array to the south, the tilt of the panels and the efficiency of the equipment (check out our recommended products to find out more). When the sun shines on the panels, electricity is produced and even more so when the sun is directly over the array.

Clean, renewable energy is produced by a system that is silent and has no moving parts.

How solar works

Components of a solar system:

  •  Solar Panel — These modules convert sunlight into DC electricity.
  •  DC Disconnect — Allows for the flow of direct current to be interrupted upstream of the inverter.
  •  Inverter — Converts DC to AC electricity for transmission to the building’s electrical distribution system.

Solar systems can also be paired with battery backup to optimize the solar. Adding this extra component to your installation allows you to not only store your excess solar production (instead of sending it back to the utility grid), but it also prevents you from losing power during a utility power outage. You can either choose to use your battery only during these emergency situations or on a daily basis to reduce your dependence on utility provided power. Depending on the amount of loads you choose to back up, Sun Pacific Solar can size your battery backup accordingly.

Knowing how solar works and what customizations are available allows us to design a bespoke system suited to your specific needs. Reach out to us for more information or to get a free quote.