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How Does Residential Solar Work?

Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular, but many people still don’t know exactly how they work. In this article, we’ll explain what residential solar panel systems are, including how they work. From there, we’ll go over some of the benefits and costs associated with installing a solar panel system in your home.

What is a residential solar panel?

A residential solar panel is a device that converts sunlight into electricity. It’s made up of photovoltaic cells, which are solid-state semiconductors that generate an electric current when exposed to light.

The way it works is pretty simple: the sun’s rays hit the solar panel, which causes electrons in the photovoltaic cells to move around and generate electricity. Then, the energy generated by the solar panel is sent to a power inverter, which changes it from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) so it can be used in your home.

How does a residential solar system work

How does a residential solar system work?

In this part, we’ll describe how solar energy is produced and used by households using solar panels.

DC electricity is generated via solar panels

A series of 60 or 72 photovoltaic cells, each manufactured of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon, make up each solar panel. The photovoltaic effect is used by solar cells to absorb sunlight and transform it into direct current (DC) electricity.

The strength of the sun’s rays and the layout of the solar panel determine how much solar electricity is generated. Individual solar panels typically provide between 250 and 400 watts of power individually under ideal circumstances as of 2022.

Power is transformed into useful AC electricity by a solar converter

Since home appliances are made to run on alternating current (AC), the DC power produced by solar cells must be converted before being delivered to the house. The solar inverter serves this purpose.

The majority of houses only have one “string” inverter installed. The combined power from all solar panels is received by these string inverters, also known as “central inverters,” before being converted. Although solar inverters can also be put at the module level, in that case, the AC-to-DC conversion is handled by tiny microinverters that are attached to each individual solar panel.

Power for the home is provided by a solar inverter

When the circuit board receives AC power from the inverter at the required voltage (120V/240V), any electrical loads on your property can now be serviced.

Grid-tied solar power systems, which are the most prevalent kind installed in houses, allow you to use solar electricity, grid power, or a combination of the two at any time. Your home’s loads may be partially fulfilled by rooftop solar electricity and partially by power from the electrical grid if they are greater than the power provided by the inverter.

Solar energy surplus is sent to the grid

It is typical for solar panels to provide more solar power than your overall electrical loads require if you have them installed (what your energy needs are). When this occurs, your utility meter allows the extra energy to exit the house and enter the electrical system.

It is necessary that the utility meter be a special “net meter,” which can maintain a separate record of the electricity you export to the grid and the electricity you use from the grid.

How big is a residential solar panel?

The size of a solar panel depends on the size of your house and how much energy you need. The most common way to install them is on your roof, but they can also be installed on the ground as well. The size of the panel will vary depending on how much power you need and where it will be located.

benefits of residential solar

What are the benefits of residential solar?

The great thing about residential solar is that it can save you money. Not only do you get to reap the benefits of free energy, but your system will also help lower your monthly electric bill by producing more electricity than you need and selling any excess to your utility company. That means more money in your pocket!

Residential solar panels are environmentally friendly

Residential solar panels are environmentally friendly because they don’t emit any carbon dioxide like fossil fuels do. They also use less water than traditional power plants, which means less environmental impact from run-off waste and other sources. And since they don’t burn anything for fuel, there are fewer emissions overall compared to conventional power production methods like coal-burning plants or nuclear facilities—which saves lives!

Residential solar panel systems are easy to maintain

Once installed properly, these systems work without fail for decades without requiring much attention at all (other than a yearly inspection just so we know everything is running smoothly).

They're also very durable

If a part breaks down for some reason (such as when small debris falls onto it), it’s usually pretty straightforward to get replacement parts shipped out quickly so that everything returns online again within 24 hours at most.
Types of solar panel installations

What are the different types of solar panel installations?

There are three main types of solar panel installations: roof-mounted, ground-mounted and attic-mounted. Each has its own pros and cons, so let’s take a closer look at each one.


Roof-mounted solar panels are the most common type of setup. They can work for both residential and commercial properties, but they’re generally more expensive than ground-mounted systems since they require more materials to install.


Ground-mounted solar panels are often used in rural areas where it’s hard to find flat space on a roof to install panels—but they’re also a good option for those who don’t want their home looking like a science experiment! Ground-mounted systems may require more maintenance than roof-mounted ones because they aren’t protected from weather damage as easily.

However, they have one big advantage over their rooftop counterparts: They can be installed without any structural changes to your home!


Last but not least: Attic-mounted panels might be less accessible than ground or roof installations, but they’re still an option if you want to go solar but don’t want to make structural changes or spend too much money on installation costs.

How long does installing a solar panel system in my home take?

The installation time depends on the size of your home and the solar system you’re installing. In all cases, we recommend hiring an experienced professional installer who can help guide you through the process and ensure everything goes smoothly.

If you have any questions about how long it will take for your specific situation or home, contact us today!

How do solar panels work to generate electricity?

Each photovoltaic cell is basically a sandwich made of two slices of semiconducting material, such as silicon. The “photovoltaic effect” is what happens when light hits a silicon cell. This makes electrons move, which starts a flow of electricity.

Here’s how it works:

  • Solar cells take in sunlight, which is a form of energy.
  • When electrons start to move, an electrical current is made.
  • Wiring picks up the current and adds it to the power from other solar cells.
advantages of solar panels

The advantages of solar panels

Here are the advantages of solar panels:

Sources of energy that don't run out

Solar energy will be available for at least five billion years, which is how long scientists think the sun will be around. It really is a renewable source of energy because it doesn’t make any gasses, pollute the water, or make noise.

Cuts down on electric bills

Since solar panels will provide some of the energy you need, your total electricity bills will go down. You can also make money by selling back to the grid any electricity you don’t use. And even if you have solar panels, you can still change your gas and electricity providers.


When people are home in the afternoon and evening, they tend to use more energy at home. This is great because the sun makes the most energy at those times.

Easy to take care of

Solar panels don’t need a lot of upkeep. All they need is to be cleaned a few times a year. Most warranties last between 20 and 25 years, and you only need to change the inverter every 10 years.

How much do residential solar panels cost?

There are two main factors that determine how much you will pay for solar panels. The first is the cost of your system, which includes the number and size of solar panels you purchase. The second factor is your energy consumption habits. Since you will be installing a system that provides enough energy to power your home, it’s important that you understand how much electricity your house uses and what kind of savings can be expected from installing solar panels.

How long do residential solar panels last?

How long solar panels last depends on how they are installed. A good quality installation will last between 20 to 25 years. This assumes that the roof and structure are in good condition. Solar panels can be damaged by hail, snow, wind and falling tree branches. If your solar panels were installed incorrectly or if you have had any structural changes to your home since the installers last visited then this can affect their longevity as well.

Incorporating a residential solar system in your home

Incorporating a residential solar system in your home

Now that you know how solar energy can be used to power your home, you might be wondering what it takes to set up a residential solar system. There are just a few easy steps you’ll need to take.
Here are those steps:

  • Look at your monthly electric bills to figure out how much solar energy you need. Your monthly energy use will be shown in kilowatt-hours (kWh). When talking to an installer, use these numbers as a point of reference.
  • Contact your city manager to find out what the rules are for installing solar panels in your area. Your city may have rules about wiring on the outside, where solar panels can go, and other building codes.
  • Find and compare solar energy installers for homes that know the rules in your area. Make sure that the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners has licensed your installer.
  • Look into financing options and tax breaks for home solar systems. There are a lot of tax breaks and ways to pay for installing solar energy in your home. Make sure to check out the Clean Energy States Alliance solar financing guide to learn about all of the tax and financing options available to people who use solar energy at home.
  • Work with the installer you choose to set up the right solar system for your home. Your chosen installer should be able to figure out which solar energy options are best for you.

Is residential solar worth it?

The short answer is yes. Solar panels are a long-term investment, and as the technology in solar panel production improves, the cost of solar panels drops. This trend will continue as more countries adopt clean energy policies and there is less demand for fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.

As more people install residential solar panel systems in their homes, the cost of electricity will continue to increase due to the increasing demand for power from consumers who can’t afford to pay for it anymore. The result is that those who have invested in rooftop solar systems will benefit from lower utility bills while everyone else struggles with paying their rising utility bills.

Construct and Save!

There are many benefits of residential solar panels, and today more than ever. Homeowners can choose to invest in this renewable energy source to help reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their electricity bills.

The cost of installing a residential solar panel system depends on your location, utility rates and tax credits available. But if you’re looking for an investment that will last decades, then residential solar panels could be worth it. If you are looking for solar panels, contact Construct Sun or visit our website now!

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Construct Sun

Construct Sun is a team of leaders and experts from different industries who share one goal: to lead the world by advocating a more sustainable energy source by providing solar energy solutions and, most importantly, top-of-the-line solar education.

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