How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight with photovoltaic cells, generating direct current (DC) energy and then converting it to usable alternating current (AC) energy with the help of inverter technology. AC energy then flows through the home's electrical panel and is distributed accordingly.

  1. Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy and convert it to DC electricity

  2. The solar inverter converts DC electricity from your solar panels to AC electricity, which is used by most home appliances

  3. Electricity flows through your home, powering electronic devices

  4. Excess electricity produced by solar panels is fed to the electric grid



When panels collect energy from the sun, they generate DC (Direct Current). But most home appliances use AC (Alternating Current). At its core, the inverter has a simple job: it converts captured DC power into usable AC power. “Your inverter manages the flow of power throughout your system.” When you wire your system, the inverter lives between your solar panels and the appliances you intend to power. But the wiring diagram changes slightly depending on whether you are feeding power into the grid (the default choice if you have access to power lines) or into batteries (if you live off the grid).