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How Residential Solar Works
The components involved in a residential solar system:
Using the power of the sun, solar panels facilitate the gathering of DC (Direct Current) power. When sunlight strikes a solar cell, it knows electrons free and the system captures these electrons, generating DC power.
The inverter is responsible for converting DC power produced by the solar panels into AC (Alternating Current) power. AC power is identical to that supplied by the utility grid.
Electrical Service Panel
The service panel systematically distributes your solar power to necessary loads throughout the home. If the power generated by your solar system is not needed at the time it is produced, it will be pushed out to the electrical grid.
The net meter measures the energy produced by your solar electric system as well as energy purchased from your electrical grid. In Colorado, if your solar system produces a net surplus of electricity over a calendar year, your utility provider must reimburse you for all excess power generated.
The electrical grid is the network of power lines used to deliver electricity to a region. One benefit to solar power systems is that they produce electricity at the time of day it is demanded, reducing the need for the utility provider to build additional generating capacity power that uses up finite resources like coal and gas.