Solar energy has revolutionized the way we generate and use power, making a significant contribution to our planet by reducing reliance on non-renewable resources. But how does solar work exactly? Does it generate AC or DC current to provide electrical power for our homes and businesses?
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how solar cells convert sunlight into electricity and answer the question of whether solar produces AC or DC.
By understanding more about what happens when sunlight hits panels so you can make an informed decision about going green with your home energy system.
Does solar generate AC or DC?
Most solar installations generate direct current (DC) electricity. This DC electricity must then be converted to alternating current (AC) electricity, which is what powers the majority of household appliances and devices.
The process of converting DC electricity generated by solar panels into usable AC power requires a solar inverter. Solar inverters come in two main types: string and microinverters.
String inverters are the most common type used in residential solar energy systems, while microinverters are growing in popularity due to their increased efficiency and advanced features.
In either case, these inverters allow the solar array to produce AC electricity that is compatible with your home’s electrical system.
What happens to solar power when batteries are full?
When batteries in a solar energy system are full, the solar array will cut off power production and divert any excess electricity to the grid. This is known as net metering, which allows homeowners with solar systems to receive credits on their utility bills for any surplus energy they contribute to the grid.
In addition, homeowners can also choose to invest in battery storage systems, which store the excess solar energy generated by their panels and can be used on cloudy days or when they need more electricity.
What are the different types of solar technologies?
The two main types of solar technology are photovoltaic (PV) cells and concentrating solar power (CSP).
PV cells directly convert sunlight into electricity, while CSP technologies use mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight onto receivers that then convert it into electricity.
PV cells are the most commonly used type of solar technology for residential and commercial applications, although CSP systems can be more efficient in some cases. Additionally, hybrid solar systems exist which combine both PV and CSP technologies in order to maximize efficiency.