How Does Solar Power Work?

how does solar power work

As the electricity flows into your solar power electrical system, it is either used in your building or “sold” back to your electric utility service for later use. Your electric meter literally runs backwards when you are producing net energy and forward when you use it.

Your solar system produces more energy in the summer, when energy rates are highest, and you can bank excess energy credits to use when you need them within a one-year cycle. You only pay for your yearly net power usage.

Solar Power Cycle

How solar works to save on electricity costs. how solar power works

Solar Electric System

Energy is converted into electricity from your building.

Net Metering

Energy you don't use is credited to you as it passes through your utility meter and into the utility grid.

Time-of-Use Metering

Time-of-use metering allows you to "sell" electricity in the afternoons at a higher rate than you buy it at night.

Get more information on time-of-use metering>>

A Solar Energy System:

solar energy system benefitsProvides free energy and saves money on your electric bill
solar energy system benefitsCreates a hedge against electric cost inflation of nearly 7% per year
solar energy system benefitsIncreases the value of your home
solar energy system benefitsIs good for the environment by producing
no pollution

Solar System Types

Gride-tied roof arrays and ground mounts. types of solar power systems

When you understand a little about how solar energy works, it is easier to choose a system that will meet your needs. A solar powered home can generate between 75 and 100% of its own power, resulting in immediate savings now, and increased savings in the future as the cost of electricity increases with inflation.

See what type of system works for you>>

Solar FAQs

Get answers to all of your solar queries. solar power faqs

How much will I save with solar?
How much does solar power cost?
How long will my solar system last?
How long are the warranties?
Are all solar panels the same?
What is the difference between solar leasing and financing?

Frequently asked questions about solar power>>

Converting Sunlight to Electrical Power

solar power from sun

Solar power cells convert sunlight into electricity, using the energy of speeding photons to create an electrical current within a solar panel.

Photons are created in the center of the sun by the fusion of atoms. It takes a photon about a million years to work its way to the surface of the sun, but once free it is hurled through space so fast that it reaches earth in just eight minutes - after traveling 93 million miles.

This tremendous energy from the sun is abundant, and has been powering the earth for billions of years - feeding plants, redistributing and refreshing water supplies and ultimately creating other forms of energy (such as fossil fuels) that largely power our civilization today.

Over the past several decades, scientists have been learning to harness this ancient energy source with more efficiency to do the work of non-renewable fuels - without pollution, noise or radiation, and not subject to economic whims that drive costs higher each year.

An interesting side note: Photons are also called quanta. They are literally "packets" of sunlight" . Albert Einstein got his Nobel Prize for his study of quantum mechanics.

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“Solar Technologies gave us the best combination of power per dollar and premium solar panels, the end result being a nice beefy system with a good return-on-investment.”
- Mark Jeghers