How solar PV works
1. The Sun
Sun provides free energy every day. Photons of light from the sun hit the solar panels and create electrical energy.
The DC power accumulated from the solar panels goes to an inverter, where it is converted into Alternating Current (AC) power so that the electricity is compatible with household appliances. A fireman’s switch and a DC isolator are installed in the DC cables connecting the panels to the inverter. This ensures that the DC power can be safely disconnected when needed.
2. Solar Panels
Solar panels absorb light. They can work with direct as well as reflected and diffused light and produce electricity even on cloudy days. They are made of semi-conducting materials, usually silicon. There are three types of PV solar panels ; monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous. Your annual energy usage determines how many panels need to be provided.
4. Battery Storage
The solar panels produce most electricity during the middle of the day when the sun shines the strongest. However, most electricity may be used at other times of the day. A battery storage system allows you to store the electricity produced by the solar panels until you need it.
5. Electrical Fuseboard
Your electrical fuseboard receives AC power from the inverter. This AC power is now available for use by appliances and lighting.
6. Electricity Meter
When you are generating more electricity than you are using the excess power is sent back into the grid. Currently, there is no payback for this energy, but this is coming soon. This will help to offset the cost of your electricity usage at night or on cloudy days when your system is not producing electricity, saving you even more money!
7. Electricity sent from the grid
Your home remains connected to the grid to supply you with electricity. When you need more power than your solar system produces or when you are not producing solar energy at night, your electricity comes from the grid in the usual way.
8. Household appliances
Now your household appliances are all powered by the sun.