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  • Writer's pictureJordan Bloomingdale

How Does A Residential Solar Panel System Work?

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

Solar power has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people seek to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on energy bills. One of the biggest advantages of residential solar panel systems is that they allow homeowners to generate their own electricity, but how do these systems interact with the utility grid?

image of a typical residential rooftop solar system and it's components
How a typical residential solar system works (Click to Enlarge)

Residential solar panel systems are designed to work in conjunction with the utility grid, which is the system that distributes electricity to homes and businesses. When a solar panel system is installed on a residential property, it is connected to the utility grid through an inverter. This device converts the direct current (DC) energy generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) energy that can be used in the home or sent back to the grid.

In many cases, homeowners generate more electricity than they can use during the day. This excess energy is sent back to the utility grid, where it can be used by other homes and businesses in the area. When this happens, the homeowner is credited for the excess energy they have generated. This is known as net metering, and it can significantly reduce the cost of electricity for homeowners who generate their own solar power.

At night or when the solar panels are not generating enough energy, the homeowner will draw power from the utility grid. This is known as grid-tied solar, as the solar panel system is tied to the utility grid. The homeowner will pay for any electricity they use from the grid, but they will also receive credits for any excess energy they have generated and sent back to the grid.

In the event of a power outage, most residential solar panel systems are designed to shut off automatically. This is a safety feature that ensures that electricity from the solar panels does not backfeed into the grid and potentially harm utility workers who are trying to repair the power lines. However, if a homeowner has installed a battery backup system along with their solar panel system, they can continue to use electricity even during an outage. The battery backup stores excess energy generated by the solar panels during the day, which can then be used to power the home at night or during a power outage. This feature adds an additional layer of security and convenience for homeowners who rely on solar power.

Overall, residential solar panel systems work by generating electricity from sunlight and converting it into usable energy for homes and businesses. By connecting to the utility grid, homeowners can not only reduce their energy bills but also contribute to a more sustainable energy future for all.

If you're interested in reducing your energy bills and lowering your carbon footprint, installing a residential solar panel system may be a great option for you. By generating your own electricity and connecting to the utility grid, you can not only save money but also contribute to a more sustainable energy future for all.

If you're unsure if solar power is right for your home or would like to explore other energy-saving options, consider getting in touch with us an energy savings analysis. This analysis will evaluate your current energy usage and compare it to how much a solar panel system can produce, providing you with an estimate of how much money you could save!

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