How Solar Energy Works

How Solar Energy Works

How Solar Energy Works. Have you ever looked at the solar panels on roofs and wondered exactly what they do, and how? Well, those hi-tech expanses of shimmering glass are actually just one component in a complex network that harnesses the sun’s renewable energy to deliver electricity to the home within.

Let’s take a simple, step-by-step look at how solar power works.

How Do Solar Panels Make Electricity?

STEP 1:  Sunlight activates the panels

The solar panels are made with a layer of silicon cells and grouped into arrays.  Each solar panel is in a metal frame, a glass casing, and is surrounded by a film and wiring. Additionally, the solar cells can then absorb sunlight.

STEP 2:  The cells produce electrical current

A solar cell is a thin semiconductor wafer. The solar cell has two layers and made of silicon. A positively charged layer and a negatively charged layer. This process forms an electric field. A photovoltaic solar cell absorbs light from the sun. It energizes the cell and causes electrons to ‘come loose’ from atoms within the semiconductor wafer. The electric field surrounding the wafer set the electrons in motion. This motion creates the electrical current.

STEP 3: The electrical energy is converted

Now you have solar panels working efficiently to transform sunlight into electricity. This is Direct Current (DC) electricity. Electricity that powers homes is Alternating Current (AC) electricity. Inverters convert the current into AC electricity.

STEP 4:  The converted electricity powers your home

Solar power works exactly the same way as the electrical power generated through the grid by your electric utility company. So nothing within the home needs to change. Since you still remain connected to your traditional power company, you can automatically draw additional electricity to supplement any solar shortages from the grid.

STEP 5:  A net meter measures usage

On cloudy days and overnight, your solar panels may not be able to capture enough sunlight to use for energy. Additionally, in the middle of the day when nobody is home, they may collect surplus energy. Possibly, you could end up with more energy than you need to operate your home. Your utility company will often provide credits for any surplus power or “net metering”.


Now you can marvel at how photovoltaic technology can capture the vast power of the sun to operate a home. It may not be rocket science—but it definitely is human ingenuity at its best.

Interested in solar roofing for your home? Explore our solar products or find a credentialed solar installer in your area.

Solar Titan USA is certified by the North American Board of Energy Practitioners, Certified LG Chem Installer, certified Generac Installer, and a certified SolarEdge Installer.

Are you still not sure about solar panels but would like more information? Here is our FREE eBook titled “A Complete Guide On Solar Power”. Now you can learn more about solar energy and if and how it can help you. This eBook covers everything you need to know about solar power including information about Solar Titan USA.

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