How does solar energy work to power my home?

The process by which a solar energy system powers your home is nothing short of amazing. There’s an impressive amount of technology taking place in every solar panel, which is a relatively small space. Most solar energy systems on residential and commercial structures are photovoltaic systems, which convert the sun’s rays with solar panels using the photovoltaic effect.

The photovoltaic effect looks something like this: sunlight hits a semiconductor within a solar panel, which is most often made of silicon. This causes electrons to be loosened, generating an electric current that is sent to wiring within the panel. This creates a direct current (DC), which is then converted with a solar converter to an alternating current (AC), which matches the currents found in U.S. electrical grids and common household electrical items and appliances.