solar panel inverters

How Solar Energy Works in a Residential Setting

residential solar energy useThere has been a lot of debate as to how the world eventually will supply itself with the energy it needs for its people to remain comfortable. Everyone relies on fossil fuels to keep a desirable temperature inside their homes. Whether it is for heating or cooling, it seems like there no longer is any other convenient way to produce energy. Well, there is one that’s self-sufficing and sustainable, yet not a lot of people think it is convenient. We’re talking about solar energy.
Obviously, the biggest advantage of solar energy is that you don’t have to pay for it, at least right after you paid for the installation of the components up front. As the term suggests, solar power harnesses the energy from the sun, which of course is for free. It is particularly helpful if you consider how expensive it is to use other sources of energy, especially fossil fuel. For the most part, solar energy is converted into electricity in the typical residential setting.

The Installation Of Solar Panels

No system will work by utilizing solar energy without the installation of solar panels. These panels are made using photovoltaic or PV cells and they are responsible for converting sunlight into DC or direct current electricity. Solar panels, therefore, act as the collectors of sunlight, which means they are installed outside, usually on top of the roof to get maximum exposure to the sun.


solar panel invertersAnother indispensable component of the residential system that uses solar energy for electricity is the inverter. The device is responsible for converting DC electricity generated by the PV cells of the panels into alternating current or AC electricity. Without the inverter, DC electricity is rendered useless in a residential setting.

Electrical Panel

Next, the converted AC electricity is then sent to the electrical panel from the inverter, the purpose of which is to power up the usual things inside the home that need electricity, including but not limited to most appliances and lights. In most settings, the electrical panel is usually called the breaker box.

Just like other electrical setups in homes, there also is a utility meter that serves to measure the energy use. The thing is it works backward when your system generates more power than you need at the moment. The surplus solar energy offsets the energy needs you expect as the night arrives. Obviously, there no longer is a way for the solar panels to collect energy from the sun at night since there is no sun. This actually is the reason why some homes and businesses use solar power as the backup system for a conventional electrical setup. It is a way of ensuring that when there is no sun for several days, say like in rainy seasons, there still is a standard or conventional way of producing energy via the usual power grid.

But then again, it still can’t be denied that having a solar energy back up at home saves you a lot of money you normally would use to pay for electricity bills. In case you are consuming more energy than the system is able to produce, you get that power from the grid. Well, this right here will make you realize how important and convenient having a solar energy backup is. The cost of power you’re using at night is offset once the sun rises up. What’s even better is the fact that the energy you’re using during the day is as clean as it can get since it naturally comes from the sun. Simply put, there is no burning required or emissions produced.

Finally, you need to realize that generating more solar energy than what you consume in average is helpful to the community as the surplus energy is distributed to the grid and use somewhere else. Isn’t that a noble act in itself? If you decide to invest in solar energy one of these days, you are in a way helping your community and the world as a whole.