How Does a Solar Power System Work?

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Photovoltaic Grids

  • Solar power systems use the rays of the sun to harness energy and convert that energy into power. First, the sunlight hits a Photovoltaic (PV) grid. The PV grid is filled with solar panels that are created to capture the sunlight. The panels consist of a crystallized material that beams the sunlight through. The electrons from the sunlight are sent through positive and negative fields and reach a metal plate. The metal plate gets charged from the reaction between the positive and negative plate and creates power.

Wiring

  • The power from those panels is sent through wires. The panels are typically connected to the roof of a house for a personal system or a large flat field for a larger system used to power multiple buildings. The electricity runs through the wires and is either sent to a battery pack, power grid or an inverter.

Batteries

  • A battery pack is used in personal solar power storage stations. This enables homes to have power during times when the sun is not available, like at night or during bad weather. When the batteries are completely filled, the house could run on them for a week and more in some cases.

Power Grid

  • When electricity is sent back to the power grid, it goes to other houses that need the power. For personal homes that send power back to the grid, homeowners can actually get paid for the electricity they give out. Larger systems are attached directly to the grid to provide individual power.

Inverter

  • An inverter is needed to change the electricity from DC to AC. AC power is used to run everything in your home and without the inverter; your home would have no use for the DC electricity that is rendered. The inverter is typically installed in the lowest level of your house along with the battery storage.

Payback Period

  • A solar power system can be installed to provide a payback period of about 10 years. This means that after the installation, you will be getting free electricity in 10 years. Solar power systems have a 30-year life period and need little maintenance unless a panel has been physically damaged.

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  • Photo Credit evolveenergysystems.com
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