Solar energy as we know it has been around since the mid-1970s. Then it was an innovative way to take the sun’s powerful rays and convert it into energy. Now, over 40 years later solar energy is one of the leading green energy solutions in the world.

But the sun has been the Earth’s main source of energy way before we were using it to power our homes and businesses.

But how does it work? How can sunshine actually power our homes and businesses? There’s a lot of jargon when it comes to the energy business, like net metering, energy credits, Tesla Powerwalls, and more. It’s a lot to understand. But we’ve broken down the science into easily digestible points for you to understand and feel more empowered to make the switch to cleaner, sustainable energy solutions.

We break down the highlights of solar energy in our Solar 101 information page. But here we’re going to dive a little bit deeper.

Though it may sound complicated, solar energy works by simple scientific processes that take the energy released by the brightest star in our solar system, capture it in solar panels, and convert it into energy that powers your refrigerator, phone charger, HVAC, and every other electrical appliance or system in your home.

Solar energy is possible due to the photovoltaic process. Which is one of the energy jargon words that means solar energy knocks atoms away from light in order to generate energy that can be captured and converted.

The sun’s rays hit the photovoltaic cells within the solar panel. The cells are just pieces of silicon stuck together that serve as semiconductors. These cells allow the electrons in atoms to become knocked loose, which generates an electrical current.

This current is then captured by metal conducting plates on each cell that transfer the current to wiring within the solar panel. This wiring then takes the current to the converter, as would occur with any other electrical current, and converts it into an appropriate current (typically AC) to power your home.

It seems complicated, but it’s really a simple and environmentally-friendly process. The science behind solar energy is innovative, and with net metering you have the option to save money on your electrical bill every month by selling the energy you generate back to the utility company. Isn’t that something?

Learn more about switching to solar energy and schedule a consultation with us today!