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Power Your Home Off the Grid With Solar Panels and Inverters

If you want to power your home completely off the grid with solar energy, you’ll need a battery bank to store the electricity you produce during the day.

Solar Panels

The large black panels you see on roofs are comprised of silicon semiconductors that absorb sunlight and create electricity. A phosphorus-infused top layer maintains a negative charge, while a boron-infused bottom layer provides a positive charge to funnel electrons towards conductive metal. Contact Solar Company for professional assistance.

Solar energy is radiant energy from the sun that can be used to create electricity, heat water and provide other forms of power. It is a clean, renewable energy source that does not produce greenhouse gases or contribute to climate change, unlike fossil fuels.

Solar panels are made of solar cells that absorb sunlight during daylight hours to create electrical energy. They are typically located on rooftops or in large, ground-mounted solar farms, converting the sun’s rays into electric energy to power homes and businesses. Solar technology has become more efficient and affordable in recent years as engineering improvements have made solar cell manufacturing more efficient. This has helped reduce the cost of a residential solar system, which has also increased the demand for this alternative energy source.

The energy generated by solar panels is delivered to your home through a special inverter that transforms direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC), which can be used to power appliances and lighting. A meter is installed in your home to record the electricity flow from both directions. On days when your solar panels are collecting more energy than you need, the meter will record that excess electricity is sent back to the grid. Your electricity company will usually give you credits for the electricity that you send back to them.

In addition to being a clean, renewable energy source that does no harm to the environment, solar power also has the added benefit of providing savings on your monthly electric bills. The only thing that can limit the amount of solar energy that is produced is the weather. Fortunately, solar storage systems are now available to help bridge the gap between the amount of energy that is needed and what the sun provides on cloudy days or at night.

Photovoltaic Cells

When light hits a solar panel, it energizes particles in the semiconductor material called electrons. This extra energy gives them the ability to ‘come loose’ and flow as an electric current, creating electricity. The current can be extracted through conductive metal contacts — the grid-like lines on solar panels — and used to power homes, buildings and even the electrical grid.

The vast majority of PV panels are made from silicon, a naturally occurring chemical element that is also a semi-conductor. Semiconductors are non-metallic materials that offer the properties of both conductors, which allow for the easy flow of electricity, and insulators, which block the flow of electricity nearly completely. Silicon is most commonly used because it’s cheap, abundant and a very good semiconductor.

PV cells are typically layered with different types of silicon to achieve the best possible conversion efficiency. The top layer, referred to as the N-Type layer, can easily give away its electrons and is positioned facing the sun. The bottom, or P-Type layer, has a special structure that attracts electrons and is made of a mix of silicon with other elements, such as phosphorus, gallium or indium, that have more than one free electron.

There are two main varieties of solar panels: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline silicon cells are more efficient, but cost more than polycrystalline silicon panels. Polycrystalline silicon is made from a mixture of mono-crystals and has shards that are aligned in several directions, making them less efficient than the monocrystalline versions.

Both kinds of solar panels convert a portion of sunlight into electricity, but their efficiencies are affected by temperature and latitude. The best solar panels can reach conversion efficiencies of up to 20%, but the technology is still improving.


Solar inverters are the heart of your home’s energy generation. They convert DC electricity from your solar panels into AC electricity that powers your electric appliances. The inverter should be sized correctly to match the total wattage of your solar panel system for maximum efficiency and power generation. If the inverter is too small or too large it can cause all sorts of performance and efficiency issues. An installer will ensure that the inverter wattage matches up with your solar panel system size for optimum results.

There are many different types of inverters used for solar power systems. The most common are string inverters and central inverters. Central inverters are larger than string inverters and can handle several strings of solar panels. They take up more space on the roof but can be cost-effective and simple for homeowners.

Inverter efficiency is a key consideration for a solar power system because it affects the amount of electricity produced over time. A higher efficiency inverter produces more electricity over the same period of time as an inverter with a lower efficiency rating.

A solar power inverter should also have the ability to “clip” excess electricity production when it is too high. Clipping occurs when the power generated from your solar panels is above the inverter’s maximum power capacity. When the inverter is unable to handle the extra electricity, it will simply “throw it away,” which wastes some of your solar panels’ potential output on the best days.

Another great feature of a solar power inverter is its ability to prevent electricity from flowing back through your solar panels and out into the power lines. This protects line workers that may be on the ground checking or repairing power outages from being hurt by electricity from your solar panels.

Grid-Tied Systems

A grid-tied system (also known as a utility-interactive solar system, on-grid, or grid back-feeding system) is connected to your home and the electricity grid. It has an inverter that converts DC into AC for efficient charging, and a bi-directional power meter that tracks both energy consumption and production.

The solar panels are installed on your roof or in open space, converting the sun’s rays into power for your house. If the amount of energy produced is more than your household needs, that excess power gets fed back into the grid. Many electric utility companies offer “net metering” arrangements that allow you to earn credits on your utility bill for the power you export to them, which can help offset or even eliminate your monthly charges.

Solar systems are a great way to save money and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. They provide a clean, sustainable energy source that also helps protect the environment. In addition, a solar system adds value to your home and increases its resale appeal. Additionally, you can receive a 26% federal income/investment tax credit and a sales tax exemption.

Solar system costs vary widely depending on the size of your solar system, your energy usage, and other factors. A qualified solar installer can design a system that meets your specific energy needs and budget.


Solar panels are a long-term investment, and you’ll want to make sure they’re working properly for their full life span. A good solar panel company should provide a maintenance plan to keep the system in its best shape, which includes regular cleaning and inspections. Some of these tasks can be done by homeowners, but those that involve climbing up ladders or walking on the roof should be handled by professionals for safety reasons.

Dust and stains build up on solar panels over time, reducing their efficiency. They also collect debris like twigs and branches that fall during storms. Rain usually rinses these away, but it’s a good idea to check for any after a particularly heavy rain.

Solar panel systems are made from tempered glass, so they can withstand severe weather conditions. However, flying debris or extreme electrical surges can crack the glass. Other problems that need to be addressed include arc faults and ground faults, which can cause damage to the panel’s electronics.

If you’re concerned about potential problems, you should track your energy production closely to see if the output is decreasing over time. If you’re purchasing more electricity from the grid than before, it could mean that your solar panels are dirty or obstructed.

Many solar companies recommend that owners clean their panels twice a year, or as often as needed. This typically involves removing dirt and debris from the surface with a soft brush or sponge, then using a water hose to rinse off any residue. If the panels are located on a roof, it’s important to use a telescopic handle or extendable pole for safety. This prevents someone from falling off the roof and getting hurt, as well as preventing the panels from being damaged by electric shock.