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how solar panels work

Our sun releases energy called photons that travel to earth and are then captured by the Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on your home. The solar panels are made up of many solar cells with a positive and negative layer that creates an electric field. When the photons from the sun connect with the solar cell, they release electrons and create an electrical current. 


How does solar energy work you might ask? Solar panels generate a DC current or direct current. The type of electricity you use for household items is an AC current or alternating current. Because the two currents are different, we need to have an inverter to be able to convert the DC current into an AC current. The inverter is like the brain of your solar system. It can provide production status updates and provide ground protection. 


There are two types of inverters. Central inverters and Microinverters. A central inverter is placed on the side of your home and runs through a string system to connect all the panels to the inverter. A microinverter is a bunch of small inverters that go directly under your panels to optimize the production right when it comes in this enables maximum production. With microinverters, if a panel stops working, your system will keep producing where a centralized inverter will shut down the whole system until repaired. 



When your solar system is installed, you will start producing energy. But at night, when the sun is not shining, you will continue to get your energy from the power grid. This does not mean you will be charged every night for using electricity, though. When your system is built, it will be designed to compensate your night usage by overproducing in the day so we can send energy back on to the grid and credit your account. This is called net metering. 


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