How Solar Power Works

Solar PV, Batteries, and Charging Stations

Multiple Parts, One System

Solar Home Diagram

Solar Modules Solar Modules

As sunlight hits the surface of the modules, the sun’s rays cause electrons from the solar cells to release, which creates direct current (DC) power. DC is the type of electricity found in batteries.

Inverter Inverters

The DC power from the modules is converted to alternating current (AC) by the power inverter. AC power is the type of electricity used to power homes and businesses.

Solar Panels Breaker Panel

When AC power leaves the inverter, it is sent to a breaker panel for distribution to the home or business. In some cases, excess energy can be pushed into the utility grid (see #5 to learn more).

Solar Panels Home Electricity

An entire building can be powered by the sun when using electric appliances like a geothermal heat pump and electric stove. Optional battery storage allows power to be stored and used after dark.

Solar Panels Net Metering

If you generate excess power and send it into the grid, your utility may provide credits toward your bill in a process called "net metering", if they have a policy for it. Done right, your solar system can make you money!

Solar Panels Grid Interconnection

If there are times when more power than your system can produce is needed, the utility interconnection transfers power from the grid to your building. This interconnection is used for net metering, also.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Basics

Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity that can be used to power your home, electric vehicle, or commercial building, and assist your neighborhood's power grid.

Solar arrays are measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and vary widely in size depending on the demand of each building that needs to be powered. The number and efficiency of solar modules, their exposure to the sun, and available daylight hours are all factors that contribute toward sizing a system. We recommend talking to a solar professional to ensure that your system is sized and installed just right for you.

The average lifespan of a solar PV array is 30+ years, with low maintenance required.

How Net Metering Works

Sunlight charges the solar modules in a solar pv system, producing electricity during daylight hours. That electricity is used to power your home or business. If the system is sized for it, the modules can produce more electricity than is used by the connected building. When excess energy is created, it can be sent into the utility grid, which offsets your nighttime energy consumption. The interconnection between solar production and your power company can effectively cause your electric meter to run backwards and, if they have a policy for it, your utility provider may offer credits for excess power.

Sending electricity back into the grid this way is called 'net metering' and is offered by certain utility companies. Check with your provider for details. In those cases, customers are billed based on their net energy use. Simply put, net metering allows residential and commercial customers to use the grid as though it were an off-site energy storage system. It's possible to produce more electricity than you use and receive a credit each month instead of a bill for your electricity usage.

Electric Meter

Batteries And Solar Electricity Production

Beyond net metering, the electricity generated by your solar pv system can be stored in batteries. This allows the power you generate to be used outside daylight hours or it can be used as an emergency power supply if the grid fails for a short time.

Charging Stations

Solar PV systems are a great way to keep your electric car topped off while you are at home. We distribute all of the equipment needed to make it happen.
Electric Car Chargers
Learn more about partnering with Enertech to experience how we provide energy-efficient products and services.