Solar Power Electricity
Solar power electricity is generated by converting the Sun’s energy into electricity that can be used to power any number of machines and appliances in your home. The Sun gives off light and heat in the form of radiation called photons. These photons travel 93 million miles through our solar system to make it here on earth.
Solar panels (or to be more scientific photovoltaic cells) turn the Sun’s photons into a flow of electrons. Electricity, or an electrical current, is merely the constant flow of these electrons from the outlets in your home to power your home appliances. However, the electricity that comes out of the solar panels does not just flow directly into your home.
The panels are grouped together into different solar arrays or collections of several solar modules which can be located in different places on your property depending on your choice solar panel mounting. If you have more than one array the electricity generated by the different arrays will be combined together by a PV Combiner to place the current of all the arrays onto one wire.
At this point the current can go to either charge a battery or to power your home appliances depending on whether you have a grid-tied system or an off-grid system. Batteries are used to store electricity and as a backup power source when the power goes out or at night.
If the solar power electricity goes to charge your batteries it will pass through a charge controller. This device controls how fast your batteries charge to help extend the lifetime of your batteries and minimizing potential fire hazards that result from uncontrolled battery charging.
If the electricity goes to power your home it first flows through a DC Disconnect panel. The DC Disconnect allows you to disconnect your solar panels from the rest of the system for any number of reasons: maintenance, troubleshooting a fault, installation of a new component, etc.
Understand that when the electricity comes out of the solar panels it is in a form called direct current (DC). This doesn’t work for your home appliances which work on alternating current (AC). So to change the current from DC to AC, the electricity flows through an inverter which uses a complex combination of electrical components to make this necessary change.
When the AC current come out of the inverter it flows through a meter so that you can see how much electricity from your solar panels is actually entering your home.
After passing through the meter, the electricity flows through an AC Disconnect panel. The AC Disconnect does the same thing as a DC Disconnect only it disconnects the AC side of the system from the rest of the system vice the DC side.
Now the solar power electricity is ready to enter your home and does so just like power from your utility company does through the AC service entrance in your home.