Have you always wondered how solar power works? The principle is simple: convert sunlight into electricity. Solar energy is 100% clean, free and inexhaustible as long as the sun shines (which means another 4.5 billion of years at least). Any commercial or residential organisation can use their roof space to produce their own electricity and it as simple as that:
1/ Solar panels
The panels capture the sunlight and convert it into DC current. How? To make it simple, solar panels contain photovoltaic cells made of silicon (semiconductor materials). When the sunlight strikes onto the panels, it knocks the electrons off the silicon. The electrons start moving around, creating direct current energy (DC).
2/ The inverter
DC electricity cannot be used by common appliances nor fed into the grid. It needs to be converted into alternating current first (AC). The inverter runs the DC current through a transformer to convert it into AC current, usable by the standard appliances. Learn more about the best solar inverters in the market here.
3/ The meter
The meter records your energy use. When a solar PV system is installed, the meter may need to be changed to a smart meter. This is because a solar installation meter does not only measure the energy use, but also the surplus of energy exported into the grid and the electricity imported from the grid (during night time for example).
4/ Electricity networks (Grid)
The electricity produced but not used is sent to the grid and will be used by the utility company. Not only you save money by generating your own electricity, but any power fed back into the grid will be credited on your next electricity bill.
What happens at night?
Solar panels work only during daytime. When the installation doesn’t produce energy, the electricity is supplied by the main power grid as usual. To reduce the grid consumption even more, the solar power installation can feature batteries storage. The electricity produced but not used is stored in the battery. When the battery is fully charged, the electricity is fed into the grid. Learn more about the grid-connected energy storage here.
Thinking of going solar? Call Energis today on 1300 782 27 or email your bills to firstname.lastname@example.org and our team of experts will give you a free quote