If you feel like your energy bill is higher than ever, you’re not alone. The price of electricity rose by an average of 14.3% in 2022, which has many homeowners wondering if now is the right time to schedule a solar panel installation to help them reduce costs in the long term. 

If you’re interested in solar power, the first step is to learn more about how it works. Before moving forward with your solar installation project, boost your knowledge so you can make a more informed decision for your home. 

As your local solar panel installation company, the SHS Pros team is here to give you the knowledge you need to feel confident about making the best decision for your home. Continue reading this in-depth guide to learn more about the essential components of a solar panel system and how they work together to power your home. 

1. Harnessing Energy From the Sun

Contrary to belief by some, a solar panel system doesn’t actually create energy itself. Instead, it collects energy from the sun and converts it into electricity that you can use to power your home. So, how does this work?

Solar panels are made up of the following materials:

  • Silicon cells
  • A metal frame
  • A Glass casing
  • Wiring

Silicon cells are used because silicon is a conductive property that can absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. When sunlight interacts with the silicon cells, it sets electrons in motion, creating an electrical current. 

Creating these electrical currents is the main function of a solar panel and it can work as long as the sun is shining. Even on cloudy days, your panels can usually get enough of the sun’s rays to continue creating currents, so you will have the power you need. 

2. Absorbing Sunlight

Once your solar panels create a flow of electric currents, the panels are generating direct current (DC) electricity. There are several factors that impact how much electricity your solar panels will generate, including the following: 

  • The temperature outside
  • The time of day
  • The type of solar panels you install
  • The placement of your solar panels

When you hire our team for your solar panel installation project, we can help you determine which panels to buy and how many you need to adequately power your home. But, as a good rule of thumb, you’ll want to pay attention to a panel’s efficiency rating when making your decision. 

The higher the efficiency rating, the more electricity you can expect your panels to generate. 

3. Converting the Energy

Your solar panels generate DC electricity, but you need alternating current (AC) electricity to power your home. This is where the inverter component of your solar panel system comes into play. 

Your inverter will take the DC electricity collected from your panels and convert it to AC electricity so you can actually use it in your home. Most solar panel systems have one of two kinds of inverters: microinverters or string inverters

A microinverter is a small component attached underneath each of your solar panels, where it converts DC electricity to AC electricity conveniently right at each panel. A string inverter, on the other hand, is mounted on the side of your home. It will collect all of the DC electricity your panels generate and convert it there, as a whole. 

Again, our team is here to help you decide which option is the right choice for your home. 

4. Powering Your Home

Once your inverter converts the DC electricity to AC electricity, your solar panels can distribute energy throughout your house through your home’s electrical panel. 

Since all of the appliances and devices in your home that require electricity are also connected to the electrical panel, the energy passes through easily, allowing you to use your dishwasher, television, HVAC system, and more, all thanks to the power of the sun. 

Using this panel-generated energy allows you to be less reliant on the power company and more reliant on solar power, helping you save potentially hundreds of dollars each month. 

5. Sending Power to the Grid

Eventually, it’s not uncommon to generate more electricity from your solar panels than you need to power your home. It’s also not uncommon to need to use electricity even when your panels aren’t producing energy, like overnight. 

Your solar panels Charlotte, NC system is connected to the electrical grid, so you can still have access to electricity, even if your panels aren’t converting energy. This is tracked using your electric meter, which measures the flow of electricity into and out of your home. When your panels are producing more energy than you need, it will send the excess power to the grid and pull excess energy when your panels aren’t producing enough. 

This helps you to offset your monthly energy bill, so you can save on electricity costs thanks to your use of solar power. 

Optional: Storing Energy for Later Use

If you’d rather not send your excess energy to the electrical grid, you can opt to add an energy storage system to your panels. This is often in the form of a battery system, which stores excess energy locally so you can use it at a later time (such as very cloudy days or overnight). 

This ensures that even when your panels aren’t actively producing energy or when there is a power outage, you can still power your home using the excess energy that’s been stored from very sunny days. 

If you’re unsure whether you should add a battery storage system to your solar panel setup, our team can help evaluate your home before a solar panel installation and your needs and make a recommendation from there. 

Tips for Choosing a Solar Panel Installation Company

Now that you know more about the different components of a solar panel system, you can start thinking about scheduling your project. The next step is to sift through the countless Charlotte solar companies to find the right team to work on your home. 

Following these tips can help make your decision on solar panel installation a bit easier. 

Read Customer Reviews

For starters, do a quick Google search for “solar companies near me” or “solar panel installation near me” to find a list of local installers. From there, take some time to read through reviews from past customers before deciding which solar installer to hire. This will give you an unbiased look at what kind of experience you might have if you hire a particular company for your project. 

Here at SHS Pros, we proudly boast an average 5.0-star Google rating without over 100 reviews from happy customers. 

Consider Hiring a SunPower® Authorized Dealer

As the highest-rated solar company in the United States, SunPower is the best of the best. All SunPower products must meet specific quality and reliability standards, so when you purchase them for your home, you can have peace of mind that you’re making a good investment. 

Our team here is proud to be a SunPower Authorized Dealer, which means that we can offer our customers top-of-the-line solar panel systems. Best of all, SunPower panels come with a 25-year warranty, which far exceeds warranties from other manufacturers. 

By hiring a SunPower Authorized Dealer for your solar panel installation project, you can feel confident that you’re making the best choice for your home. 

Check for Licensing and Insurance

Before you decide who to hire for your solar panel installation project, take the time to make sure you’re choosing a vetted and experienced contractor. Any legitimate solar panel installer will have the proper local licensing to work on your home. 

If you hire a solar panel company that is not licensed, you run the risk of installation issues that could cause long-term issues with your panels. 

Along those same lines, you need to hire a solar panel company that has liability insurance. This helps protect you from being liable, as the homeowner, should an accident occur on your property. 

If a solar panel installation company is hesitant to show proof of licensing and insurance when you ask, we recommend choosing a different company for your project. Here at SHS Pros, we operate with full transparency and would be happy to show you proof of our license and insurance policy when you’re deciding whether to hire our team. 

Schedule Your Solar Panel Installation Project To Get Your Home On Solar Power

After reading through this comprehensive guide, you should have a much better understanding of the different components of a solar panel system, how they work to power your home, and what to look for when searching for a solar panel installation company. 

The next step is to think about getting your solar panel installation project on the books. When you’re ready to take the next step, the SHS Pros team is here for you. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have about solar panels, explain the details of solar tax credits, and help you determine how many panels you might need to power your home. 

Contact us to get in touch with our team and set up an initial consultation. We look forward to helping you on your journey to powering your home with solar panels charlotte NC!