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How Solar Works

In a nutshell, solar PV systems use energy from the suns radiation and convert it into usable electricity.

To do this solar PV systems use photovoltaic cells in the solar panels to harvest the power from the sun and converts it into DC electricity, this is then converted into AC electricity (the same as that at your home or business). This is done via a key piece of equipment that is called an “inverter”.

The inverter is connected directly to the electrical system at your home or business and the energy is then utilized to operate your electrical equipment during the hours of generation, rather than importing energy from the grid.

Any additional generation from the solar panels is then exported back to the grid, unless the system also has battery storage in which case it would be used to charge the battery storage prior to exporting back to the grid.

In instances where there is excess power sent back to the grid, this can be exchanged for payment via your energy retailer by way of a “Feed in Tariff” (FIT), which can be anything up to around the $0.20/kWh mark currently.

More information on the operation of solar can be gained from the clean energy council here.