Solar energy is a sustainable, cost-effective, and efficient way to produce electricity for your home or business. This form of renewable energy is gaining traction in California, in particular. Solar power in Orange County, in particular, is experiencing a boom as people start to generate their own power and save on utility bills. Solar panels also increase property value. But how does solar energy work step by step?

Let Orange County solar installers show you how it works.

How Does Solar Energy Work?

Solar panels harness the power of the sun for electricity production. But that’s simplifying the process and doing potential solar power customers a disservice.

Instead, let’s break solar power technology down and see why converting sunlight into power is so revolutionary.

Step 1: It Starts With The Sun (And Solar Panels)

orange county solar panels producing solar energy for a home

To get solar power in Orange County, first, you need the sun.

When exposed to sunlight, the solar panels in a solar panel array generate energy. Thanks to photovoltaic cells in the solar panels, the power comes from absorbing the sun.

Monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film capture solar power from the sun and start the next step: creating an electrical charge. Next, sunlight is converted into electricity which can power your home or business.

Step 2: Converting Solar Energy Into Electricity

When sunlight converts to electricity, one minor issue still exists: electricity produced only flows one way. This is called direct current, or DC.

Your home runs on alternating current (AC), in which electricity runs both ways. But how do you get that solar energy to convert to AC? Through the use of inverters.

Without an inverter, your solar array in Orange County would produce electricity, but you wouldn’t be able to use that energy.

Not all inverters are the same, however, and there are a few types of inverters to consider. It depends on your solar panels.

Inverters take direct current and quickly switch the input. This constant effect results in electricity you can use generated by your home solar array.

Types of Inverters

orange countysolar power inverters

There are a few different types of solar inverters, and which one you use depends on the size and scope of your solar array.

String Inverters

These solar power inverters are the standard in thousands of solar energy systems. With string inverters, multiple solar panels are connected to one inverter. With a low cost and high level of reliability, string inverters are an excellent investment.

However, string inverters are less efficient than their counterparts. For commercial business owners in Orange County who want to monitor every aspect of a solar array, string inverters may come up short. They provide a general overview of your solar panels but lack specificity.

Microinverters

These newer types of solar inverters connect directly with each individual solar panel. Each microinverter converts DC electricity to AC electricity right then and there.

Microinverters are great for micromanaging your entire solar array. Plus, the whole system isn’t sidelined if one solar panel is affected by inclement weather. You can also monitor each panel’s status and its optimal electrical output.

However, microinverters are easily the most costly type of inverter. But if you can invest in microinverters, you can have greater control over your solar panels.

Power Optimizers

Think of power optimizers as a blend of microinverters and string inverters. Power optimizers attach to the back of each solar panel and send the direct current to the string inverter. The string inverter then converts the electricity into AC.

If you need a detailed view of your solar panels and how efficiently they operate, power optimizers are a great way to do so. Much like microinverters, users can see the efficiency of each panel in a solar array.

However, power optimizers are more expensive than string inverters. Likewise, these inverters will require more solar inverters to operate. Keep in mind they’re less costly than microinverters.

In short, without an inverter, your solar system won’t be able to power your home or appliances.

Step 3: Electricity In Your Home Or Business

Once the inverter does its job, you’ll fully experience solar energy. The solar panels and their alternating currents power your electrical panel. The electric panel distributes electricity throughout your commercial business or residence.

And don’t worry; you’re still connected to your power company. So if there’s an issue with your solar panels, you can still use them as an energy source. 

Learn How Solar Power Works With Orange County Solar Installers At REPOWER OC

Solar installers in Orange County are here to provide business owners with solar solutions.

A talented team of engineers and designers will help you every step of the way.

From understanding how solar energy works all the way to saving money on utility bills, we’ll guide you every step of the way.

For more information on how solar energy works, get in contact with the Orange County solar power experts at REPOWER OC!