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How Solar Energy Works

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Photovoltaic light hits the solar modules on the roof and produces DC electricity. Even when the suns not directly out when conditions are cloudy the solar panels produce power.

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Any unused electricity produced is fed back into the grid through your reprogrammed bi-directional meter which calculates all the exported electricity and at the end of the billing cycle gets tallied up and you get paid a nice little credit for it! Happy Days!

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Any appliances in the house now run off this power supply during the day meaning you are no longer buying the power directly off the grid.

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The AC energy is then sent to your meter board to be distributed throughout the house.

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The DC current gets sent down to the inverter unit usually in the garage or a shaded/covered outside wall which converts the DC electricity in AC electricity which our homes run off. 

Solar energy works simply by converting direct sunlight into electricity. 

It works as the sunlight is a DC (direct current), the solar panel (known as a photovoltaic panel) then coverts this into AC (alternating current) using an inverter. AC is same type of power used in your home every day. It’s converted at the same voltage as energy supplied by the electricity grid to ensure it’s safe to use in your home. It helps you to make savings on your energy bills as your home then uses this converted energy, rather than the energy supplied by the electricity grid. The solar energy is used in exactly the same way to power your day to day appliances. This includes everything from the lights, to the dishwasher and your hairdryer – plus anything else you plug in. 

 

Any additional demand required to power your home is supplied from the grid and any excess energy is exported back into the network – which is what makes it so efficient. Electricity retailers also have to pay a feed in charge for electricity which goes back into the grid. 

When you have solar panels installed you’ll also get a smart meter which tracks how much energy is used, generated and exported which provides the data for your energy billing.
 

When is the most solar energy converted?

Solar panels convert the most energy during the daytime, when the sun is out. This is why you’ll make more savings if you use electricity during the day, rather than at night when the panels won’t be converting any energy. Where you live, how much sunshine you get each day, the angle of your roof and whether there are any obstructions can all impact on how much energy your solar panels can convert.

 

It’s generally considered best if they are north-facing to catch optimum sunlight throughout the day, but not essential for them to be effective.

To find out more about how much you could save with solar power, use out savings calculator.