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Solar panel diagram

What components are in a solar power system?

Making the decision to install a solar power system means having a full understanding of how creating renewable energy works. While it may seem like a complicated process, simple steps are taken to convert the sun’s rays into electrical energy for your home.

There are six components of a solar power system, as shown through this solar panel diagram that will harness the sun’s energy and make it your own:

  • Solar Panels: When properly installed, solar panels directly convert the sun’s rays into direct current (DC) electricity. These panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells and are placed on a home’s roof in direct sunlight for optimal use.
  • Inverter: When the sunlight hits a solar cell, its photons are converted into electrons of DC electricity that flow through an inverter where they are converted into an alternating current (AC) power. This is the electricity that powers your home.
  • Electrical Panel: Once sent from the inverter, the AC power is sent to an electrical panel, also commonly known as a breaker box.
  • Utility Meter: Also known as a net energy meter, a utility meter helps consumers keep track of how much solar power is produced throughout the day. When you generate more power than you can use, the meter actually works in reverse and sends that power to the utility grid, thus offsetting the energy you use at night.
  • Utility Grid: Your household or business will still be connected to the utility grid because it will need to draw power from it at night. However, the cost of using the grid’s electricity is offset by the amount of energy you put into it during the day.
  • PowerGuide monitoring system: Exclusive to SolarCity, the PowerGuide monitoring system continuously tracks your solar energy production and makes sure your entire system is running correctly. If a problem occurs, the system will automatically notify SolarCity.

What are solar modules?

Solar modules are the heart of solar energy systems. These panels come in three types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous silicon, also known as “thin film.” Monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon are the two most commonly used styles of panels due to high performance and quantity of electrical output.

Designing the module array is the key to making your home or business energy efficient. SolarCity can help you create the most efficient solar panel system by providing homeowners a self-guided tour of their energy use. This energy consultation will pinpoint sources of inefficiencies and rank energy-saving improvements by cost and savings.

Installing a proper array of solar modules will help consumers create a more energy-efficient home. There are a few steps homeowners can take to see even greater savings once they switch to solar:

  • Properly insulating your home will reduce heating and cooling costs
  • Installing double pane, low emissivity windows will reduce drafts
  • Sealing small holes and cracks in the walls, window panes and door jams will save energy costs and keep allergens out
  • Sealing your furnace duct system will heat or cool your home evenly, as well as save you money on your energy bill
  • Replacing old appliances with Energy Star models

How can SolarCity help?

At SolarCity, our goal is to accelerate mass adoption of sustainable energy. As America’s largest solar power provider, we have served thousands of homeowners and business owners. We guarantee our work and have industry-leading coverage regarding solar monitoring and repairs.

Our team of in-house specialists will stick with you every step of the way. We will help with every aspect including designing your solar panel system and financing your investment. Additionally, we are backed by some of the biggest names in business —Honda, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs — which have funded billions of dollars in solar projects with us.

We want to change the way our customers create renewable energy. We can show you how switching to solar and using the best technology available in solar modules is advantageous to you and the environment. If you want to make the change to solar power, contact SolarCity today. Our commitment to saving you energy and money extends beyond the roof.

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