How does solar power work?

Solar is a pretty amazing technology when you think about it. The panels on your roof convert the sunlight into free, clean energy that powers your home or business lowering your electricity bills. But have you ever wondered how the process actually works? 

It all starts with the sun 

Like any star, our sun is a nuclear reactor. It generates an enormous amount of energy that travels to the earth as sunlight or, in more scientific terms, photons. As Australia is one of the sunniest countries in the world, we’re well placed to put this energy to work. And to do that, you need solar panels. 

How your solar system works

At their most basic, solar panels are made up of several photovoltaic (PV) cells placed in an electrical circuit. During the day, these PV cells absorb photons from light. This, in turn, causes electricity to flow through the circuit as a direct current (DC). This electricity is then fed into a solar inverter which converts it from DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity you can use in your home or business. 

What about excess power? 

During peak daylight hours, your solar system can generate more electricity than you use. Rather than being wasted, this electricity can either be stored in a battery for use later or fed back into the electricity grid. 

If you do send your excess electricity back to the grid, you may get a credit on your electricity bill depending on your provider. This credit is known as a feed-in tariff (FIT), and can help you save even more on your energy bills. 

The best bit?

Solar panels have been around for more than 50 years. And while the technology that powers them hasn’t changed much since they were invented – their price has dropped dramatically as their efficiency has improved. Couple this with federal and state government rebates and incentives, and it’s easy to see why solar is booming in Australia. 

Want to save money on your electricity bill by going solar? Contact Midwest Solar & Electrical to find out more.