Sydney Australia

How Solar Works

Step 1: Solar Panels convert sunlight into energy
During daylight hours, solar panels receive sunlight and convert that light into electric energy through what’s called the photovoltaic effect. The photovoltaic effect occurs when solar panels that contain silicon cells as their active material are exposed to sunlight and generate free electrons that flow through an electrical circuit and produce energy. The number of solar panels you’ll need for your home or business depends on a few factors:
  • How much sunlight do you receive
  • The direction and angle of your roof
  • Your typical energy consumption according to the season
Step 2: Solar Inverters convert energy from DC to AC electricity
Once we’ve started to convert sunlight into electricity in step 1, the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panels is then carried to a solar inverter via electric cabling. Since most large residential and commercial appliances use alternating current (AC) electricity, the role of the solar inverter is to convert DC energy from the solar panels into AC electricity. It’s important at this stage that the inverters you’re using are designed to fit the size of your solar panel array, as there are many different types and brands.
Step 3: The switchboard transfers converted solar energy to all your home appliances

Once the solar energy has been converted into AC electricity, it’s then sent to the switchboard in order to start powering your property. If you’re using solar energy for your home that’s connected to the grid, then your house will automatically source power from your solar system first. Only once you’ve depleted your home’s stored solar energy will you begin to draw power from the grid. Should your solar system generate more energy than you consume, the surplus electricity will be reallocated elsewhere in the local electrical network.

Step 4: Installing new utility meters
After your new solar system has been installed, your solar service provider will replace your existing energy meter with a bi-directional meter. This new meter will keep track of all the power that is drawn to your home and how much solar energy is being fed back to the grid. If your solar system is returning energy to your local power grid, this surplus energy can earn you a “feed-in tariff,” which compensates you for the energy you’ve produced.
Step 5: Grid rules define system permissions

The Distributed Network Service Provider (DNSP) is the company that is responsible for operating your local power grid. Each DNSP has its own rules limiting the size of your residential solar system and your ability to transfer solar energy back to the local grid.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Most DNSPs allow solar systems of up to 5kW and permit transfers of surplus energy back to the grid
  • Safety and protection mechanisms are required for commercial solar projects over 30kW
  • Commercial solar systems rated at over 100kW require a more detailed approval process that involves completion of an engineering study and possible design modifications
For Controling Your Energy Production

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