How Does Solar Power Work? A Step-By-Step Guide By Space Solar

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How Does Solar Power Work? A Step-By-Step Guide By Space Solar

Are you wondering how does solar power work? Here’s our step-by-step and detailed guide on how does solar energy works.

Did you know that the amount of sunlight that strikes the earth’s surface in an hour and a half can single-handedly fulfil the entire world’s energy consumption for a complete year? 

The sun is considered an original source of energy as it supplies most of the energy needs both directly and indirectly. We receive solar heat energy from the sun, and sunlight can produce electricity. 

Solar technologies convert the sunlight into electricity through solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or by using mirrors to concentrate solar radiation. Solar energy can be used to generate electricity, stored in batteries, or for thermal storage. 

Producing Energy Through Solar Power

Solar energy is produced when sunlight photons strike the surface of the solar PV panels, resulting in the generation of DC. The generated DC current passes through a robust inverter, which converts the energy into AC current. 

AC current is usually used to power most home appliances. With correct installation and appropriate weather conditions, a solar system for a home can single-handedly fulfil all your daily energy needs. 


How does solar power work step by step?

1. Solar Panels Collect Sunlight

Solar panels are constructed from a variety of cells called photovoltaic (PV) cells. These PV cells are responsible for collecting light particles. Light particles are photons from the sunlight, used to produce electricity.


2. Conversion of Sunlight into Direct Current (DC)

Solar panels are constructed with silicon cells, which is a semiconductor. When photons from the sunlight strike the surface of the solar panel, it knocks the electrons loose from the atoms. 

Due to the same, the free electrons start to accumulate in the upper surface of the solar panel. When electrons move from one place to another, it creates a slight difference in the solar panel, resulting in evident direct current flow within.

How much electricity can solar cell electricity? A single solar cell can generate up to 0.5V of electricity, but the voltage may vary depending on the size and number of the solar cell. 


3. Inverters Convert DC Current Into AC Current

Solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. Most home appliances use AC current to power and operate. A robust inverter converts the DC current into alternating current (AC) electricity. 

However, the uses of inverters are not only limited to the conversion of DC to AC electricity. Inverters are also used to monitor the performance of your solar system and display stats. 

It also offers you safety features such as ground fault troubleshooting and protection. With inverters, you can track your maximum power point and energy production.

Inverters vary widely in terms of sizes, watt-hours, and amp outputs. These days, microinverters are quite popular as they function based on the panel level and optimise the performance of each solar PV panel. If you need a robust inverter for your residential solar panel system, be sure to call us.


4. Net Metering

Using a net meter, you can measure the amount of electricity that goes to and from the power grid. Most Australian houses have solar panels with net meters, connected to their power grid. 

The net meter is usually placed outside of the house. Often considered similar to an electric meter, but the difference is that the net meter calculates the electricity flowing in both directions.

Using a net meter, you can send the excess power generated by the solar system back to the grid and receive energy credits from your local utility company. Energy credits can be utilised at night, during extreme weather conditions, and blackouts. 

Another advantage of earning energy credits is you may even receive money from your local utility company by exchanging the excess generated energy.


When Do Solar Panels Work Best?

The optimal functioning of solar panels depends on a variety of reasons. To name some:


1. Weather Condition

Solar systems work best when there is an ample amount of sunlight. On a clear sunny day, your solar panel will produce maximum energy. While on cloudy days, it will produce only one-third of their maximum potential. 


2. Time of The Year

The energy generation of your solar system also depends on the season/time of the year. Since summers have longer days than winter, your solar system will produce 2x times more energy than cold days. 


3. Roof Condition

Even the best solar installers will initially check your roofing condition to conclude whether or not mounting solar panels on the roof will be the right option. Solar panels placed on a roof facing south helps achieve maximum energy.


4. Shading

Solar panels require appropriate sunlight to produce energy. A roof covered in shade due to trees or buildings can affect the power generation of your solar panels.


5. The Mounting Angle

The mounting angle for your solar installation can also affect its productivity. The ideal mounting angle should be anywhere between 30°-60°, as it ensures maximum efficiency of the solar panels.


Common FAQs

1. How Does Solar Energy Work in Your Home?

Solar panels convert photons from the sunlight into DC current, which then flows into your inverter. The inverter converts the DC current into AC current and transmits the energy to your power grid.


2. What Are 3 Important Facts About Solar Energy?

  • Solar energy is one of the most used renewable sources of energy
  • Using solar energy is cheaper than fossil-fueled energy
  • One hour of sunlight can fulfil the energy needs of the entire world for a year


3. What Are The 5 Advantages of Solar Energy?

  • Lower electricity bill
  • Reduced CO2 emission
  • Low maintenance cost
  • Offer energy independence
  • Obtain government incentives


4. How Is Solar Energy Useful To Us?

As a renewable, inexhaustible and affordable form of energy, solar power can be used for almost anything – from generating electricity to cooking food.

We specialise in installing tier-one quality residential and commercial solar panels. If you want to know more about our solar options, call us on 1300-713-998 or send your solar queries at