Solar panels are made up of individual cells that have layers of special semiconductor material arranged in positive and negative layers, similar to the setup of a battery. Light energy from the sun shines on the solar panel and photons which make up the light hit the layers of semiconductors and create a flow of electrical energy. The energy from the photons frees electrons within the semiconductor material, creating direct current (DC) electricity.Wiring connected to the positive and negative sides of the cell harness electrical current using wires connected to the panel to carry the electricity to an inverter where it can be converted into alternating current. Solar panels can linked together to provide either all or part of the power needed for a home or business.
A photovoltaic system is usually composed of several solar panels. For a typical home or small business, the solar panels are usually mounted on the roof. After sunlight creates electricity in the form of direct current (DC) it is sent to an inverter that changes the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) because our home appliances and lighting is designed for AC electricity. This electricity can be used in your home or business, sent to the electric grid and sold to the utility. In hybrid systems, electricity can be used in your home and the extra can be sold to the utility. The choice of using the electricity, selling it, or both options in the hybrid example depends on the policies available with your utility.