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How Does Commercial Solar Work?

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How exactly does sunshine become electricity? Solar energy can generate clean, more affordable energy for your business. But how does it work?

It’s important to note that net solar generation has increased significantly over the past decade. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, net solar generation increased from 16 GWh in 2004, to 15,87 GWh in 2014.*

Business owners are choosing to invest in solar energy for a variety of reasons, which includes reducing operating costs. Solar installations are at an all-time high, while solar technology has proven to be extremely reliable. **

When solar panels are installed at your facility or building, the photovoltaic cells (PV) that make up the panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity throughout the day.  From there, an inverter converts the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is what your business utilizes.

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The AC electricity is then sent from the inverter to your electrical panel, most commonly known as the “breaker box,” to power your lights and appliances with solar energy.

As solar energy is produced, your utility meter will actually move backward when your system generates more power than you immediately need. This excess solar energy offsets the energy you use at night.

It’s important to note that businesses that produce solar power are also connected to the grid. Your utility will still provide power at night or when the sun isn’t shining.

To make it easier for you to understand, we’ve created this infographic on how commercial solar works. Let Direct Energy Business help you get started.

Visit our Solar solutions page for more information.

**“Global Solar Installation Growth Set to Hit Three-Year High in 2014,” IHS press room, Oct. 2013; Solar Industry Data, SEIA 2013 Year-in-Review SMI Fact Sheet, page 1.


Posted: June 03, 2015