Solar electric modules – also known as photovoltaics, or PV – are made from special silicon cells that produce direct current (DC) electric power when exposed to sunlight. They can be installed on the roof, ground, carport or any other adjacent structure.
The DC power created by PV modules flows to an inverter that converts DC current into alternating current (AC) to power your home’s electrical outlets, lighting, HVAC equipment, etc .
Electric Meter & Service Panel
The AC power flows from the inverter to the main electrical service panel for distribution to the building’s electrical system. Your existing electric utility service remains in effect, and your power meter continues to measure consumption, allowing you to draw power from the grid whenever your PV modules are producing less power than you need.
Selling Back to the Grid
Any time the solar electric modules are producing more electricity than your home is currently using, the excess power automatically flows from your home back into the public utility grid. Your electric meter is able to measure how much excess power your system generates, and under the terms of an “interconnection agreement” (also known as “net metering”) between you and your power company, the utility is obliged to credit your account for the excess power your system generates, up to the amount that you actually use in a given year.