Solar Electricity (Solar PV) Technology
Understanding the PV Process
The sun’s energy in the form of light can be collected and converted to electricity.This conversion is called photovoltaic (or PV for short): photo meaning light and voltaic meaning electricity.The conversion device is called a photocell.Photocell technology has been around for decades.A common use for photocells has been to turn on outside lights when it gets dark.Technology improvements have made solar PV feasible to generate large amounts of electricity to meet the needs for both home and business. How? Many photocells are joined together to form a solar PV panel and multiple panels are combined into a solar PV system.A solar PV system can be designed to provide up to 100 % of the electricity used by a home or business but the typical installation 50% or less.Here is how a typical system works for a home.
Theory of Operation
1. Solar panels convert sunlight to DC electricity, similar to what your car battery produces.
2. A microinverter on each solar panel converts the DC electricity to 120V AC electricity that is the same as your existing outlets.
3. The combiner box joins the electricity from all of the microinverters into one electrical circuit.
4. The electricity flows into your existing circuit breaker panel and is ready to use.
5. Most of the time all of the electricity will flow to devices you have connected outlets in your home and you will use it immediately.
6. When your system makes more electricity than you are using, the electricity flows back out the meter to the utility grid and you receive a credit from the utility.
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