How does solar work?

Posted on 11 August 2018

How does solar work?

Whether you’re thinking of installing solar or have already taken the leap, you might be a bit confused about how the system actually works. Here are some frequently asked questions about solar systems and how they work to help clear things up:

What is solar PV?

PV stands for photovoltaic. Photovoltaic means that the system converts sunlight into electricity. Solar PV involves a system of panels, made up of cells, installed on rooftops to generate clean electricity.

What is a solar hot water system?

Solar hot water systems are also mounted on rooftops but instead are used to provide hot water for household use, rather than electricity.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels installed on rooftops convert sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic cells are made of silicon and are composed of protons and electrons which work to create an electric field. Then, an inverter transforms the solar panel’s direct current energy into alternating current electricity so that it is compatible with the electricity grid. Properties with solar systems installed first use the solar power before using electricity from the grid. If the system has a battery backup, it is charged during the day and used during the night. If not, electricity is taken from the grid.

How long does a PV cell work?

There are no moving parts to a PV cell and little maintenance is required. This results in a sturdy cell that can last for up to four decades.

What can affect solar system output?

Variables such as efficiency, size and location can have an impact on the power output of a solar system. Additionally, solar panels never run at 100% efficiency. Factors that might affect the output of a solar system might include the time of year. As an example, solar panels tend to generate more electricity in summer, the angle of the panels in relation to the sun, the amount of time the panels are shaded, or the cleanliness of the panels. Small amounts of shade or dirt can have significant impacts on a solar system as it can affect the flow of electricity.

What can Solar Power Direct offer?

We are a proud South Australian solar company that values transparency and integrity. At Solar Power Direct, we have expert technicians that can perform a range of tasks depending on your needs. We can perform solar system installation and you can rest assured that all our electricians are Clean Energy Council accredited. Our electricians can also check your system and ensure that it is operating at its peak efficiency. If you have any questions or want to know more, call us on 08 7226 0560 for an obligation-free consultation.

Solar Power Direct is a proud member of the Smart Energy Council, working towards a safe climate and a strong renewable economy.