Solar Solutions of America


solar panels

The Sun is one of the most powerful sources of energy in the Universe and we benefit from its light everyday. 

So how do we harness this power and convert it into a clean, renewable source of energy that can power your entire home or business? 

How do solar panels work and how can they give you energy independence?

In this article, we will explain what solar power is and how we benefit from this powerful source of energy.

how solar works

What is solar power?

Solar energy is a type of fuel generated from the Sun. The Sun is one of the most powerful objects in the Universe and we have the technology to harness its light to convert it into clean, renewable energy.

We can harness energy by the use of photovoltaics cells (also known as “PV”) that take that sunlight and convert it into electricity. A group of PV cells are known as a solar panel. These solar cells are organized into sets or modules and then connected into solar panels, which you see on roofs.

How do solar panels work?

Your solar panel system uses photons to separate electrons from atoms. Photons are light particles. The process of separating electrons from their atoms creates solar electricity.

solar power diagram

1) Solar panels capture the sunlight

Your solar panels contain PV cells which take the light and convert it into solar electricity. When sunlight hits the solar panel, PV cells produce direct current (DC) electricity. But it doesn’t stop there! Your solar system contains other equipment to generate power. Such as inverters…

2) Inverters convert solar energy to useful electricity

Inverters is what converts DC electricity from solar panels to alternating current (AC) electricity. This electricity is what powers your home. Some solar panel system configurations have a single inverter (called a string inverter) for the entire system. Some have a micro inverter connected behind each solar panel.

3) Solar electricity is used in the home

Solar electricity runs through your net meter and powers all of your home appliances.TV, microwave, phone charger, electric vehicles and in some places, water, solar electricity will power it all. It works just like your traditional electricity does now—so it will be a seamless change. If your solar panels don’t produce enough energy to cover all of your electricity needs, don’t worry. You’re still connected to traditional power companies via the grid, so you can automatically draw more energy from your utility when you need.

4) A battery can store energy

If you install a battery pack in your home such as the Generac PWRcell Battery Storage System or the LG Chem battery you can store excess electricity produced from your solar panels for later use.

5) Your solar electricity is measured by the net meter

Net meter

Net metering is when your local utility company agrees to provide energy credits for any surplus solar power you produce and send it back to the power grid. In some cases, these energy credits can roll over so you accrue them long-term, and some utilities will even cut you a check for your power production credits.

The net meter device is installed in the home and measures the electricity going to and from the power grid. This meter is similar to the electric meter you probably have now, but it measures power going in two directions instead of just one. 

To learn more about net metering and how it works, click here.

For more information about solar, visit our Solar 101 page or our FAQs.

Learn about the American made solar panels that we use!

Here is the Top 5 Reasons Solar is Great for Michigan.

Ready to get solar? Contact us here to set up a FREE home or business analysis .

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