May 4 2010

Solar Energy – Big Question Number Two: How does it work?

by April

How Solar Works

It’s actually very simple.  Solar panels are installed, usually on your roof but sometimes on the ground, and then hooked up to your electrical system.  The sun shines down on the solar panels and produces a Direct Current (DC).  A machine, called an inverter, then changes the DC into AC – an Alternating Current that is used to power everything in your house.  If you would like a more in depth explanation of how the actual photovoltaic solar cells work, check out:

When the panels produce more than the house can use, the excess is fed back into the electric grid you are on for a credit and later use, like at night when you can’t make your own electricity.  For more information on power grids and how they work, check out:

Currently, those credits are stored up and then zeroed out at the end of the year.  However, in October of 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 920 to address several aspects of renewable energy (such as solar and wind generation).  This law will require the electric company to offer compensation for the surplus electricity generated over a twelve-month period, starting in 2011.  How much this compensation will be I have no idea, but I doubt it will be as much as they charged me to buy it.  Should I ever get a check from them I will be sure to let you know.


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Comments (1) -

1/28/2011 7:48:31 AM #

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  Solar Energy – Big Question Number Two: How does it work?
when I discovered your website. Thank you for sharing this very good data. Knowledge!

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