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How Does Solar Power Work?


Solar panels convert energy from the sun into DC (direct current – like a battery) electricity. This is because sunlight or “photons” agitate electrons within silicon atoms to create a positively and a negatively charged side to a silicon wafer. This is a property that is almost unique to silicon.

PV Solar Power is not derived from the sun’s heat. As with all electrical items, greater performance and durability is derived when components are kept cool. Better quality panels will perform better at higher temperatures. Remember this when choosing a system to install in Western NSW!

The electricity produced from silicon wafers within solar panels is DC and the electricity grid uses alternating current (AC). An inverter is attached by cables to the solar panels to convert this DC to AC power and to “pump” this power into the grid at a rate that is slightly greater than the power coming from the grid at roughly 240v.

Under NETT metering arrangements, while power is being generated by your PV system (i.e. during the day) it is firstly used to power your home and then any unused or excess is exported into the electricity grid. Unless you have an alternative power system, of a night you will continue to draw from the grid.

It is essential that consumers of PV systems are aware of the export or “Feed in Tariff” rate offered by their energy provider or retailer. This will determine whether the exported “daytime” PV power will offset “night time” energy usage costs, and ultimately the cost effectiveness of the entire PV system investment. Do not assume you will benefit from 100% of the power you generate!