How is Solar Energy Made into Electricity?
Solar energy is booming across the United States and all around the world. In fact, a recent study released by the Environment America Research and Policy Center found that solar power more than doubled in most major U.S. cities over the last six years. In addition, several cities like Las Vegas, Nevada and Dallas, Texas saw their solar power more than quadruple.
Even though communities are flocking toward solar energy, and more people than ever are installing solar panels on their homes, many are in the dark about the technology that makes it possible. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the process of converting solar energy into electricity.
There are four basic principles to converting collected solar energy into usable electricity:
Step One: Absorbing the Sun’s Powerful Rays
We’ve all felt the warmth of the sun on our skin. This sunlight is actually measurable, usable energy – and, once your solar panels are installed, they can begin to harness this abundant natural resource! Our design team purposefully places your panels on the sunniest part of the roof to capture as much energy as possible.
As soon as sunlight hits the panels, the energy travels into an inverter beneath the solar panel, runs down the side of the house (via a neatly laid conduit) and into a combiner box.
Step Two: Your Solar Inverter Converts DC Power to AC Power
Momentum Solar’s microinverter converts your power from DC to AC, which is what we use inside the home. This is also the type of energy our appliances and electronics depend on for power.
Step Three: Electricity Begins to Flow Through Your Home
Traditionally, your current electricity meter likely only spins forward. After partnering with Momentum Solar, your dedicated solar specialists will work closely with your utility company to replace your meter with a bi-directional meter. The bi-directional meter tracks when you use and produce energy. This process is called net-metering and is essential to banking excess power.
Step Four: Your Excess Electricity is Fed Back to the Electric Grid
After installing your solar panel system, you may find that your home produces more electricity than it consumes during the day. This excess electricity is fed back to the grid and, at night time, when your system is no longer producing power, you can pull power seamlessly from your utility company without being charged for it. This “banking” process applies for rainy, snowy and cloudy days as well. In short, the more energy your system produces, the less you’ll have to pay for the utility company’s power!
Not only is solar energy a cost-effective choice, but it’s also a wonderful way to help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. Compared to traditional “dirty” energy, solar power dramatically cuts carbon emissions, improves water quality and provides millions of homeowners with a completely sustainable form of energy.
If you’d like to learn more about solar energy, please click here to receive your no-obligation quote.
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