How Solar Works

Most homes with solar stay connected to the power grid, turning your home into a miniature, part-time power plant.

Here’s how it works:

Solar panels sit in a sunny place, typically on the roof where they catch plenty of photons. When light energy strikes the panels, electrons are pushed to the inverter, which converts the energy from DC to AC so it can be used in the home. The inverter feeds the main service panel, which sends electricity through circuit breakers to the various light fixures and outlets. On a sunny day, the panels may produce more energy than can be used in the home; the excess feeds back through the meter to the grid. A smart meter will actually track how much energy you’ve sold back.
At night, your panels and inverter essentially go on standby, and your home consumes energy much like it would without solar: the utility sends electricity in through the meter to the main service panel, and on to the rest of the house.

Solar Buyback

Most utilities in the USA offer net metering plans. You’ll pay for energy that comes into your home (typically at night, when you’re using more than your panels produce), and they’ll give you credit for extra energy you send back to the grid (on a nice, sunny day, for instance). A smart meter tracks both the credits and the debits.

Every utility has their own rates for solar buyback. Some utilities have very simply plans, while others may have multiple variables. We at Spark Solar will help you understand the net metering policy where you live, and design a system that will make the most benefit of policy in your area.

Minimal maintenance. No moving parts

They may seem like state-of-the-art technology, but photovoltaic solar panels have been around for more than a hundred years. They’re incredibly reliable and long-lasting; in fact, they’re guaranteed to produce at high capacity for twenty-five years.

There’s very little upkeep you need to do to on your solar panels. As long as they don’t get covered by dirt or a bird’s nest, and squirrels don’t chew through the cables, your system will work pretty much maintenance free. With real-time monitoring right on your smart phone, you’ll never be left in the dark.

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