Wholesale PV Pallet Prices       GCL 280w $.51   GCL 285w $.52   Click Ticker For Details    GCL 290w $.53    REC 240w $.59     CSUN 305w $.69  Suniva 275w $.81     Suniva 340w $.79   Wholesale PV Pallet Prices   USA-Made 315w $.74     USA-Made 325w $ $.76   USA-Made 335w  $.79   Click Ticker For Details  

All About Solar > How Solar Electric Works

As we know, sunlight contains energy.  When light hits your skin, or the sidewalk, or ice cream, atoms vibrate to produce heat. However, not all materials act the same way when exposed to light. 

X When light is absorbed by a group of materials called semiconductors (silicon, for example), electrons are knocked loose from their atoms. (Semiconductors are special because their electrons get up and move when exposed to light, instead of just jiggling in place and producing heat like other materials.) The movement of electrons creates current flow; the electricity created can be captured. If we have enough electrons running around, we can harness them for power. More technical gobblygoop here if you are interested...

Solar cells are made from large silicon crystals that are sliced into wafers (think salami), then printed with electrodes.  In order to make enough power to be useful, solar cells are electrically connected and made into modules. The cells are sandwiched between a backing material and an acrylic front and sealed with silicon glue to create a solar module. 
A typical module will have 60, 72, or 96 solar cells, depending on the design. Solar cells are electrically connected in series so that the voltage of one cell adds to the other.

Solar modules (also called solar photovoltaic (PV) panels) are rated in watts (W). The power produced by solar panels is direct current (DC), which can be used to charge batteries but not for your home.  A device called an inverter converts DC power to AC power, which is suitable to be fed to your utility company (aka, the grid) or your home. 

Here's what you need to know.

Solar panels provide free electricity that can be used at your location, with any excess power sold back to the utility company. So in the daytime when solar is strong and you don't use all of the free solar electricity, it gets "put in the bank" - basically using the utility company as a battery. Then at night or on a cloudy day, this extra power that has been previously "saved" can be withdrawn and used at no cost.

The panels are installed on a mounting platform - for residential customers this usually means the roof. It's best not to aim the panels towards the north, the panels will perform best if aimed generally in a southerly direction. They are safe and simple to install using time-tested procedures.

The solar panels (called PV panels) produce electricity which can be used, or sold to the utility company and dramatically reduce or eliminate your utility bill for power consumption. It is also possible for you to add batteries and create an off-grid system that has no power company connection, although in most areas of the USA this is not cost effective. It's generally better to simply use the utility company as the battery, with the standard configuration, although new cost-effective solar batteries are now available that allow more options, see our solar batteries in the product section.

The panels connect to an inverter, which converts the solar power to normal 120/240 volt electricity. The inverter connects to your main circuit breaker panel.

Once the system is installed it should produce electricity for 25-30 years or longer (estimated useful lifespan is 50+ years and is guaranteed for 25 years).

To get a quote on a complete solar power system, with or without installation, please contact us or call us at 1-866-577-5277