How do solar panels work?
SOLAR PANEL SYSTEMS
What is a solar panel system?
How do solar panel systems work? Solar panel systems are designed to create renewable energy from the sun. The solar panel system converts sunlight into usable electricity through photovoltaic (PV) technology. The energy created by solar PV systems is completely free and sustainable for the environment. By harnessing solar power at home you can save on your electricity bills, contribute to a cleaner environment and potentially earn credits or incentives through government programs.
There are three main types of solar panel systems. Each system contains solar panels and inverters, however, depending on your requirements your system may include solar batteries and/or a connection to the national grid.
Types of solar panel systems:
On-grid solar panel system
On-grid solar panel systems are connected directly to the national grid. This system powers your home during the day and any excess energy is sold back to the grid. The system does not require batteries however, it does fully rely on the grid to operate.
Hybrid solar panel system
A hybrid system is similar to that of an on-grid system. However, a hybrid system includes solar batteries. This means your free solar energy can be stored for later use. You are not reliant on the grid and have a back-up energy source should the grid go down.
Off-grid solar panel system
Off-grid solar panel systems are not connected to the national grid. They often include solar batteries, back-up generators and other types of renewable energy sources. These systems are naturally more expensive, however, provide free energy in the remotest locations.
What is included in a solar panel system?
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels consist of photovoltaic cells and layers of semi-conducting material. When sun light hits the PV panels the layers become energized and create electricity through, what is know as, the photoelectric effect.
There are different types of solar panels available. The best solar panels for your solar panel system will depend on your energy requirements and budget.
The electricity generated by the solar panels is direct current (DC). The direct current electricity has to be converted into alternating current (AC) so it can be used in the home or work place or passed on to the national grid. Converting DC into AC electricity is done by a solar inverter.
A solar battery, also known as a solar storage system, works by storing excess electricity generated by solar panels. During the day, when sunlight is abundant, solar panels produce electricity. Surplus electricity that is not used is stored within your solar battery. When the sun isn’t shining, or during peak energy usage times, you can draw upon the free energy stored within your solar battery. Using solar batteries will reduce your reliance on the grid and save you extra money on energy bills. This setup allows for more efficient use of solar power and greater energy dependence.
SOLAR SYSTEM PROCESS
How do solar panels work?
Solar Panel Installation
Solar panels are installed on the roof or in an open area with good sun exposure. They are positioned to capture maximum sunlight throughout the day. These panels are fitted by our qualified technicians.
The solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it into direct current electricity also known as DC through the photovoltaic affect. Depending on the weather this can vary, for example on cloudy days there can be less energy converted.
The DC electricity generated by the solar panels is sent to an inverter, which converts it into alternating current electricity, also known as AC. This is the standard type of electricity used within our homes.
Powering Your Home
The AC electricity can be used immediately to power your homes appliances and lights. If there is excess energy, it can either be stored in a battery for later use or sold back to the national grid.
The excess electricity you feed back into the grid is tracked and you receive credits on your bills. During times when your panels don’t produce enough energy you can use these credits to draw electricity from the grid.
Solar Battery Storage
Some homes have solar battery storage systems. Excess solar can be stored in these batteries during the day and used at night or during cloudy days, providing energy independence and reducing reliance on the grid.