Have you ever asked, "how does solar power work?" or looked down at your calculator or wristwatch powered by the light of day in wonder? Take your watch a step further and imagine your entire household running on the same power, hard to picture right? How can the light of day that keeps that calculator running without a battery seemingly forever power an entire way of life? Not only is it possible but for the last 20 years, the "solar revolution" has been solving this mystery by supplying hundreds of homes with megawatts of electricity. If you are one of the folks already harnessing the sun's power or are thinking about joining the hundreds who have paid for a solar system to be installed and are now receiving the FREE power from the sun this is how it all works.
Whether you are creating electricity, warming water, or heating your home through solar energy, it all originates from the sun's rays, something we are surrounded by each and every day. The photovoltaic/PV or solar panels located on your homes roof absorb the sun's rays with semi-conducting silicone. Now avoiding getting too scientific, the panels then knock loose electrons from their atoms, which allow them to flow freely through the silicone to produce electricity. The photovoltaic effect is a process where photo (light) is converted into voltage (electricity), in turn the panels converts the solar energy into direct current or DC for your home's electricity. The DC is then transferred through an inverter, which in turn creates an alternating current (AC) the electricity needed for distributing and running the appliances and lights in your home.
Two Types of Solar Power
The two types of solar energy are thermal and electric. Thermal is all around us; it lights up our days, providing heat to everything around us and it is completely free! Electric energy is created through solar cells that use the power of the sun and can be applied in the following ways, either through stand-alone, grid-connected, or back-up resources. Each determines your remote location as they are based on the use of a utility company or simply by the power created by an installed solar system and sunlight alone.
You never have to fear a power blackout or your home not running at night as the more generated solar power you have is stored as DC electricity in a battery that will continue to supply your home no matter the sun shining or not. You start saving money the more energy you harness, therefore your meter will spin backwards, and your utility company will send you cash back for power saved or put back on the grid.
If you are properly and efficiently able to power your home from solar generated power, you may never have an electrical bill again! If you are able to generate enough excess power from your system, you can sell back to the grid receiving incentives from your local utility company. Once you get your systems up and running, people will come to you and ask, "how does solar power work?" The world of solar is as large as the sun above us, and the possibilities endless. Harnessing this great power is not only simple, but also clean and the most abundant source of energy we have on Planet Earth.