contact us login

Solar energy production

How is solar energy produced?

Producing solar energy is as easy as harnessing the sun’s rays or photons and converting them into electrical energy. This is done through solar panels composed of photovoltaic (PV) or solar cells that are installed on your roof. When the sun hits a cell, the photons are converted to electrons of direct current (DC) electricity that flow through an inverter where they are then transformed into an alternating current (AC) power. Electricity produced from solar panels is then used to power your home or business.

Solar energy produced is tracked through a net energy meter. Any unused electricity from production simultaneously goes back into the electrical grid. At night or on cloudy days – when your solar power system is not producing more than what’s needed –electricity is drawn from the grid as it normally would. In most cases, solar panels produce more than enough energy.

In order to maximize your investment and produce as much solar energy as possible, the panels need direct access to the sun’s rays for most of the day. Any shading on a solar power system will reduce its energy output considerably. Air temperatures normally do not affect solar energy systems nor do locations where there tends to be higher snow accumulations.

How much energy does a solar panel system produce?

The amount of electricity a solar panel produces is not only proportional to the sun’s intensity, but also depends on three factors: solar cell efficiency, solar panel size and the amount of sunlight directly hitting the panel. Your SolarCity energy consultant will work with you to decide how much energy you are using and map the solar installation to meet those needs.

Each solar panel should have a number listed on the back identifying how much power will be made during peak conditions, also known as a max power rating. All solar panels are rated by the DC power produced in standard test conditions. Our typical solar panels produce between 250-325 watts of electricity based on the efficiency and size of what’s installed. As an example, if you install 20 panels producing 250 watts, you may have an output of about 5 kilowatts (kW).

How can SolarCity help?

As America’s largest, full-service solar power provider, SolarCity will help you with all aspects of purchasing or leasing a solar energy system – from financing and installment, to obtaining proper permits and designing your setup. Our team of in-house specialists will walk you through the entire process. We have one of the best reputations in the business, offering customers 24/7 solar energy production monitoring, in addition to product coverage.

Our goal of providing clean, affordable solar energy has garnered the strong support of several top-level business partners including Google, Bank of America, Honda and others, which have funded billions of dollars in solar projects with us.

Since 2006, SolarCity has cared about limiting environmental damage, as well as saving you money on monthly energy bills. We want to transform the way our customers produce energy and provide them with the many benefits going solar offers. If you want to make a difference in the lives of your family, friends and community, contact SolarCity about installing a solar energy system today. Our commitment to saving you energy and money extends beyond the roof.

See if you qualify >

Solar energy production resources