How solar power works
1. Solar panels
- The solar array is resilient to all common weather conditions.
- Panels are connected together in a ‘string’, and then cabled back to the inverter.
- Energy from the sun enters the solar panels’ silicon wafers and generates electricity all year round.
- Almost all roofs are suitable and can achieve close to 100% efficiency. North-facing roofs are best for panel installation but they are no longer essential.
- The inverter captures the variable DC voltage from the panels and converts it to useable mains AC voltage. It also comes with a digital output display to provide statistical information on the power generated.
- An inverter uses a ‘maximum power point tracker’ to extract the maximum amount of electricity without the need for motors to move the panels throughout the day.
3. Your home
- Your home uses electricity from the solar panels first, with additional electricity demand supplied from the grid.
- Your new digital meter will allow you and your provider to read the amount of excess power your generate. You may also have access to off-peak power rates, saving your money.
5. Into the grid
- When you generate more power than you use, the excess may be purchased back by your power company.
How Solar Works
Solar energy generation is a clean method of powering your home using only the sunlight that falls on the earth. It can be used just about anywhere – in large buildings, factories and in residential homes. Solar energy is the conversion of sunlight into electricity using photovoltaics (PV). Photovoltaics were initially used to power small and medium-sized applications, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell, to off-grid homes powered by a photovoltaic array.
Solar inverters are the workstation in a solar installation. Inverters are working from sunrise to sunset, converting the DC supply from the panels and turning it into usable 240 V AC supply to power your house. For this reason Velocity Solar will only install reputable inverters. If you inverst in a solar system, you want to make sure the system life has the best chance possible.
Micro inverters ( AC inverters ) allow every panel to work independently from all other panels. If one panel is faulty, all other panels keep working. Monitoring can be done remotely and checked from the back end by the installer, making fault finding an easy process. Enphase is the only micro inverter Velocity Solar chooses by choice for the Geelong and surrounding areas.
Solar panels produce energy from daylight, not just direct sunlight. This means they can still produce electricity on cloudy or overcast days. Solar energy can be used directly in your home to power lights and appliances or exported to the electricity grid. At night when your panels can’t produce solar electricity, you draw your electricity from the electricity network in the traditional way.
A solar power system contains two major elements. These are solar panels, which are usually mounted on a rooftop, and a solar inverter. The solar panels contain two layers of silicon, one with a positive charge and one with a negative charge. When the sun’s rays land on a panel, electrons move from one layer to another, creating an electrical current. The inverter then takes the current and converts it into usable energy (240V AC).
Solar System Durability
Solar power is great for the environment, very safe and emits zero carbon dioxide, fumes or pollution. The panels will typically produce energy for at least 25-30 years. This is well after the initial investment has been paid off.