How Solar Panels Work: Plugging into the Sun

howSolarWorks_img2If you want to know EVERYTHING we’ll put you in touch with the people wearing pocket protectors at solargaines, but here’s a quick version of how the sun can work your tenant’s copy machine or your family’s toaster.

STEP 1: The sun shines. Make sure you’re wearing sunscreen.

STEP 2: Solar panels collect the sun’s energy and turn it into direct current (DC) electricity. Yes, it’s DC part of AC/DC. The AC part comes next.

STEP 3: For the electricity to be useful to you it has to be converted. Or, inverted. So an inverter changes the DC to AC.

STEP 4: You know that electric meter you have that’s always spinning, seemingly faster and faster? Well, if you want to see something totally great, watch it spin backwards. That’s possible when you go solar. A bi-directional electric meter will display your home or building’s net power usage. Generate more electricity than you use and the meter spins backwards equating to lowering your electricity bill. Even if you generate less, the meter will spin forward a lot more slowly.

STEP 5: You’re now producing your own energy.

If you’d like to learn more about how solar energy works, we invite you to visit the following links.