Time is up for nonrenewable resources — solar energy is the future. In September 2016, carbon levels exceeded 400 ppm and human civilization can’t wait any longer to improve their environmental practices.

Using the sun as a clean and renewable source of energy seems like an obvious choice to replace harmful, nonrenewable energy sources. After all, the sun produces about 38,460 septillion watts of energy every second. That’s comparable to billions of tons of TNT exploding simultaneously.

Of course, harnessing the energy of the sun is not as simple as it sounds. It requires complex engineering processes. To find out how solar energy works, check out the guide below.

How Solar Energy Works

Solar energy is a renewable resource that’s become a lot cheaper over the years. Now, it’s not just an option for rich, conscientious homeowners. More people can afford to invest in the future of the Earth than ever before.

To find out just how this technology works, you can read more about it below.

How Does It Generate Electricity?

Solar panels use silicon cells to capture and transform the sun’s energy into electricity. When light interacts with silicon, it creates a photovoltaic effect that moves electrons and generates a current of electricity.

Semiconductors like silicon can create electricity from light. The panel also uses wiring to help the electricity travel to a solar inverter to be changed from direct current to alternating current.

How Does It Work in the Home?

After the solar radiation is captured by the silicon photovoltaic cells and converted to an alternating current, it can be directed into the home’s electric panel.

Extra power generated by the panels that isn’t needed for the home can be redirected to the utility grid. In some places, this excess energy means utility credits for the homeowner. This is known as net metering.

How Does It Connect to the Grid?

Most American homes are connected to a utility grid. This means they have a utility meter to measure how much energy the home uses.

When solar panels are installed, they should be connected to the utility meter. The utility meter will measure how much energy is used and produced. If your area has net metering, you can give extra energy to the grid on really productive days. You can also take extra energy from the grid on less productive days.

There are times when solar panels won’t be able to generate as much electricity. Unfortunately, nights and bad weather are unavoidable. That’s why net metering is such a great incentive for solar-powered homes.

More Solar Information

Learning how solar energy works is important during the modern environmental crises humans face. Those who understand this technology can better advocate to others about this conscientious choice.

To find out more details about how solar energy can work for your home, make sure to contact us.