How Do Solar Panels Work?

You may have seen solar panels on rooftops in your neighborhood, but do you know how they actually work?

Solar panels are made up of an element called silicon. When sunlight hits a solar panel, electrons in the silicon begin to move, initiating a flow of electricity. This is direct current, or DC electricity.

Unfortunately, direct current electricity cannot power most appliances in your home. To create usable electricity, your solar power needs to travel to an inverter first. This inverter converts DC electricity into alternating current, or AC electricity, which can be used by most home appliances.

If your solar panels create more electricity than you need, you can send the extra back to the grid. Most utility companies will provide credits for this extra energy to use on a future bill. This ensures you will always benefit from producing clean, renewable energy.

To take the first step, join the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to get custom solar quotes from pre-screened installers near you.


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