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How Photovoltaic Solar Works

The basic function of solar electric systems, also known as photovoltaic (PV) systems, is to convert sunlight into electricity.

Solar cells are the basic building block of solar systems and are made up of semiconductor materials. When sunlight is collected by these materials, the solar energy frees electrons from their atoms. These free electrons then flow into a circuit built into the solar cell to form electrical current. Only sunlight of certain wavelengths will work efficiently to create electricity, therefore PV systems can still produce electricity on cloudy days, but will not function as effectively as on a sunny day.

The basic PV or solar cell only produces a limited amount of power. To produce more power, solar cells can be interconnected to form panels or modules. PV modules range in output from 10 to 300 watts. If more power is needed, several modules can be installed on a building or at ground-level in a rack to form a PV array.

PV arrays can be mounted at a fixed angle facing south, or they can be mounted to automatically follow the sun, allowing them to capture the most amount of sunlight throughout the day.

PV module systems can be designed to meet any electrical requirement, no matter how large or how small. You also can connect them to an electric distribution system (grid-connected), or they can stand alone (off-grid). Contact us for a customized recommendation for your property.

How Photovoltaic Solar Works