How Does Solar Work?

We are NC Solar Now, the premier installer for NC Green Power, and we’d love to answer your questions.

If you’ve been thinking about adding a solar system to your home, you probably know that solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, helping you save on home energy costs. We think it’s pretty cool to turn your rooftop into an electricity-producing device! But, have you ever wondered how they actually work? We are NC Solar Now, the premier installer for NC Green Power, and we’d love to answer your questions. Below are some common preliminary questions!

Q: How do solar panels work?

In four simple steps:

Step 1 – Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity.

Step 2 – Inverter turns Direct Current electricity into Alternating Current electricity.

Step 3 – Alternating Current runs into your home via breaker.

Step 4 – Excess power feeds back to the power grid.

Q: How do solar panels save you money?

The difference between the amount of solar power you generate in a given month and the total actual power you consume gets fed back to the grid to offset your next bill.

Additionally, residents can use credits from excess electricity from higher production months to draw energy back from the grid during lower production months like fall and winter when their system isn’t producing as much electricity. Keep in mind that, in most cases, you’ll never have to pay another power bill again!

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Q: How much sunlight do solar panels need to work?

Residential solar panels typically require unobstructed access to sunlight for most – if not all – of the day to reach their full conductive potential. Any shade on the solar panel system can limit the amount of light penetrating the solar cells, which could significantly reduce the amount of electricity the system can generate. Remember, we have options for placement other than your roof so do not fret if your home has some shading!

Q: When and where do solar panels perform best?

Solar energy depends less on temperature and more on access to sunlight. That being said, North Carolina’s moderate climate makes it an ideal state for solar energy because we tend to enjoy steady sunshine year-round. And, while there is more daylight in the spring and summer months compared to fall and winter, there is no particular time of year in which solar panels will perform drastically better.

Q: How do solar panels generate electricity?

Solar panels are collections of photovoltaic cells (or solar cells) made from silicon and other conductive elements. Each of these cells have positive and negative layers to establish an electric field. Light hitting the cell releases electrons from their atoms to flow through the electric field, which creates electricity. Photovoltaic (PV) is the method used for converting sunlight into direct current electricity. PV modules are made up of small solar cells that are wired together and sealed between a plastic backing and a tempered glass cover, which is wrapped in an aluminum frame to allow for safe mounting.

When those solar cells are struck by particles of light from the sun, or photons, the cells generate an electrical charge that moves electrons in a steady current from one side of the cell to another. Multiple panels are connected together, creating an array, to maximize their hours of exposure to direct sunlight. The solar modules create direct current (DC) power that is converted to alternating current (AC) power (which is used by the appliances in your home), helping to offset your electric bill.

Q: How do solar panels connect to the power grid?

During installation, NC Solar Now will connect your solar panel system in parallel with your home’s electrical system. Your solar system will also be connected to the utility company through your home’s connection to the utility grid. Most North Carolina homes have net metering. That means homeowners can send any excess power back to the grid when their system overproduces in exchange for credit on their next utility bill. Conversely, NC residents can use those credits to draw energy back from the grid in times like fall and winter.

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Start Saving with Solar

Your solar panel array will make kilowatt hours of power every month, and the amount of kilowatt hours you create will be subtracted from the amount of kilowatt hours you consume. In some situations, the amount of power created is enough to eliminate all the kilowatt hours used by the home, reducing your power bill. In many cases, our customers won’t see a power bill for years to come! Don’t forge the financial benefit of an increased home value, too.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have as you explore your solar options. Find out how much you can save. Give us a call or schedule your free solar system analysis today! 

What Do Our Clients Say About Us?

“NC Solar Now was nothing short of amazing! They truly partner with their customers to ensure that they understand your goals upfront, communicate openly and excellently throughout the planning process, execute on time, and continue to support you and ensure you are aware of how to take advantage of new tax credits and rebate programs that you are eligible for. I am very happy with my 10KW system and the quality of the install, but above all, the ongoing support and customer service I receive from this company. I am endorsing them because they worked very hard to earn my trust and business and I know they will do the same for others. They have set a gold standard in my book!”

– Blake Shiver

Ready to Get Rid of Your Power Bill?

Contact us for a FREE Solar Savings Analysis! We’ll help you calculate how much your investment in solar will save you over time.

Want to Learn More About Solar?

Interested in a solar panel installation, or maybe you just like to keep up with the latest developments in green technology? Check out our blogs to learn answers to common questions, the latest news in the industry, what our friends are up to and how they use solar power, and how our team is saving the environment one installation at a time.

What Is Net Metering and How Does It Work?

Understanding Net Metering and how it works is very important for any solar owner or potential owner. Net Metering is a utility billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. Read this article to find out more about Net Metering and how it works.

Read More »

Valentine’s Day Promotion

Valentine’s Day isn’t just a holiday for cards and chocolates anymore. Giving you and your loved ones a practical and eco-friendly gift may just be the answer. During the month of February, NC Solar Now is offering a special, 14% off 14 solar panels!

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Get Started on Your Project Today

Are you still wondering if solar panels are right for you? Are you considering going green with your house but you’re concerned about the cost? Our team can walk you through any questions or concerns you have. Set up a no-obligation call with us, and we can explain all the benefits of solar power to your home (and to your bank account).

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NC General Contracting License No. 69583
NC Electrical Contractors License 33569-U

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