​how do solar panels work?

How do solar panels work? How do they convert the sun into money in your pocket? It's simple, really. 

Any solar system that Renovus installs serves one important purpose, to save our customers money. These systems are made up of a complex chain of interconnected technological solutions that achieve that goal. Have you ever been curious about how we turn the sun's rays into money in your pocket? Well you're about to find out.

The Photovoltaic (PV) process is the process that converts sunlight into electricity. Solar panels are PV modules, built to generate electricity for your home or business. These panels are comprised of small photo voltaic cells,  wired together and sealed underneath a tempered glass cover. This panel is secured with a metal frame to combine all the panels elements into one unit, and to allow panels to be easily mounted and installed in series . Multiple panels are connected together in any given installation, creating an “array” of modules.

These solar modules create Direct Current (DC) power.  This DC power is converted into standard Alternating Current(AC) power with an inverter onsite. AC power is the most common type of power used for residential and commercial consumption, allowing it to be fed directly into your home to offset your electric bill or back onto the grid.

There are four or five components of a solar power system that help it produce energy for your home depending on your needs. Each component fills a specific purpose and helps you erase energy bills and be more energy independent.

SOLAR PANELS

When properly installed, solar panels directly convert the sun’s energy into DC electricity. Sunlight is composed of minuscule particles called photons which radiate from the sun. As these hit the silicon atoms of the solar cell, they transfer their energy to loose electrons, knocking them clean off the atoms.


Freeing up electrons is however only half the work of a solar cell: it then needs to herd these stray electrons into an electric current. This involves creating an electrical imbalance within the cell, which acts a bit like a slope down which the electrons will flow in the same direction. This flow of electrons is the DC current that will be fed into your inverter.

INVERTERS

​When the sunlight hits a solar cell, its photons are converted into electrons of DC electricity. This type of electric current is not directly applicable either at your home or business, and cannot be sent through the grid for use elsewhere.

​Inverters allow you to convert DC power to AC power, which can be used by your home or transferred back to the grid. Modern inverters are also smart devices that allow solar array owners to monitor their systems production in real-time.

UTILITY METER

​A utility meter helps consumers keep track of how much solar power is produced throughout the day. Utility meters are also known as net energy meters. Net meters keep track of the energy you consume as well as the energy you produce.

Energy credits are applied to your total net energy usage when your system is producing more energy than you are using at that given moment. If your meter is offsite, as is the case with a community solar system, those credits are applied to your bill monthly, rather than instantaneously.

ENERGY STORAGE

​While not all residential and commercial systems have on-site energy storage, they are becoming increasingly more common as industry prices decrease. Energy storage systems are available to anyone who has a solar system, be it on their home or off-site​.  

Energy storage systems have the dual benefit of allowing consumers to use energy from their battery during peak -pricing hours, and store it in case of a grid outage. Batteries are connected directly to a home or businesses inverter, and come in a variety of sizes depending on the consumer's energy demands.

​THE GRID

​All Renovus solar systems are still connected to the grid. The reason for this being that grid-connected systems are both more reliable and easier to maintain for consumers.

​The grid can both buy energy back from consumers when their systems are overproducing, and supply the necessary power to keep a home or business running smoothly when the system is not at peak performance.


​Get an INSTANT ESTIMATE​ With our solar calculator​​​

​Get an INSTANT ESTIMATE​ With our solar calculator​​​