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Solar 101

Solar energy uses radiant light and heat from the sun to produce power. Once solar panels are installed, solar energy is free and immune to rising energy prices. It can be converted into electricity to provide heat, lighting and mechanical power.

Solar panels receive energy.

A solar panel is made of photovoltaic cells. When photons from the sun hit the cells, electrons are released, which can be converted into electric power.

Power inverter converts electricity.

Solar power enters the house as direct current (DC), the same current batteries use. A power inverter is used to convert DC power to alternating current (AC).

Electricity powers your home.

Once the power from the solar panel has been converted to AC, it is ready for normal use in your home. When a home uses power, it draws from the solar panel first.

Unused power can be sold to the grid.

When your home uses less power than you produce, the excess power can be sold to Dominion Energy and added to their power grid. Some customers receive credits for the excess energy they generate.

For more information on solar energy technologies and solar education resources, visit the SC Solar Council.