How Do Solar Panels Work?

We’re in dire need of alternative energy nowadays.

We need a source that’s reliable, limitless, and of course, easy on the pocket.

The solution: solar power.

Solar panels convert the energy that it receives from the sun, turning it into electricity; but how exactly does it work and why should you consider using solar panels for your home?

Read on to find out!

The power of the sun

The heat and light that we receive from the sun are called solar energy.

Solar energy has been present long before we even knew how to harness it thru solar panels.

In the past, it was only used for agricultural purposes – to grow crops for consumption.

But as scientists and innovators discovered how powerful and productive solar energy can be when applied to different fields, its uses expanded leading to the invention of solar panels.

In Virginia alone, we receive about 3.5-4 hours of peak sunlight which is about 1000 W/m².

What’s the significance of PV cells to solar panels?

Now, to understand more about how solar energy is turned into electricity for the home, we must know about PV cells.

Photovoltaic cells (PV) or more commonly known as solar cells convert sunlight directly into electricity.

These solar cells are in between layers of semiconductors such as silicon (positive and negative charged) which then generates an electric current.

For residential solar, there are 60-cell solar panels or 72-cell solar panels. The higher the number of cells, the more energy they can produce for your home.

The number of solar panels that your home may need will depend on the energy that you’re currently consuming; the best way to know is by scheduling an assessment from a trusted solar provider.

Converting the electric current from DC to AC

Once the solar energy becomes current, it must then pass thru a solar inverter.

Most batteries and renewable energy sources such as PV cells are in DC (Direct Current) form and therefore an inverter is needed to transform the current into AC (Alternating Current).

Household appliances commonly used in homes are already in AC format because it’s cheaper to generate and has lower voltage requirements.

Aside from converting the current, your solar inverter also does the following:

  • Records your power consumption
  • Ensures compatibility with electricity from the grid
  • Advanced inverters: cuts you off from the grid in case of power outages to prevent accidents

Net metering

In addition to inverters and solar panels, your utility company will also provide you with a net metering device.

This device will monitor the excess energy that your solar panels produce, which will then flow toward the grid.

The excess energy will then be accounted for and lessened from your monthly electricity bill; this is one of the many ways that you can achieve solar savings!

Enjoy the power of the sun!

The sun is a free energy source that we should all utilize.

Unlike electricity from the grid that’s highly dependent on fossil fuels, thus making it very expensive, solar panels are now made more convenient with a zero-down plan; plus, you’ll be entitled to various government incentives to encourage you further to make the switch!

Lastly, this is the biggest help that you can give to the environment. By joining the movement to #gosolar, you’re decreasing your own carbon footprint.

If every household, small business, and giant corporation joined the cause, maybe we can fully realize a net zero emission world.

For more information about how solar panels work and how they can help power your household, feel free to contact us at (804) 452-7699 or email a power bill to