Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells made of silicon. When the sun’s rays hit them, these cells convert sunlight to electricity. Individual cells are wired together to form a solar panel. They are coated in tempered glass, which allows them to withstand harsh weather. The electricity produced by a single solar panel is not enough to power a home or business, so multiple solar panels are needed. The number of panels varies by installation, but every solar system (also called an “array”) will include a series of panels mounted and wired together.
This array may be installed on a roof (“rooftop solar”) or on the ground-level (“ground-mounted solar”). The electricity generated by solar panels takes the form of direct current (DC). However, most appliances and electricity-consuming objects (called “electric load”) require alternating current (AC). To convert the solar electricity from DC to AC, an inverter is needed. Your system will likely use microinverters, connected to each panel, which will convert electricity from DC to AC, for use in your house.