How Do Solar Energy Systems Work, Anyway?

solar-skySure, I’d like to go solar. 

Sure, I’d like to save money when using electricity in my home. 

Sure, I’d like to make the greener choice when it comes to powering my appliances and electronics. 

Sure, it sounds great, but I can’t just count on the sun being out all of the time—so I guess solar is not for me, right? 


We get it, you want to be able to use electricity in your home reliably. That means that you cannot really turn to solar power in Southern Vermont. Just think about how early it gets dark out in the winter season!

The fact is, however, that solar energy is a viable energy option, even if the sun goes down early (as it does for so much of the year around here). How is this possible? Well, keep reading for some more information regarding the way in which solar energy systems actually work.

It’s Not a “Real Time” Situation

If you could only count on solar energy to power your home when it is actually sunny out, then there is no way that anyone would actually invest in solar energy! The way that you harness solar energy for use in your home is through PV, or photovoltaic, panels. You’ve no doubt seen these on rooftops or in fields. The sun beats down on them, and the solar cells in the panels absorb photons from the sunlight. The electric field created in the panel causes electricity to flow, and this electricity is used throughout the house.

Depending upon the way in which your system is set up, you may choose to store solar energy in solar storage batteries. Like any other battery, these solar batteries can be used at any time to power electronics and systems throughout the house. You are not drawing off the grid even when there is no sunlight present—you’re just putting the solar energy that you’ve already collected, but which has not yet been consumed, to use at a later time. This isn’t the only way to prepare for the darker days of winter, though.

Getting Credits for Solar Energy

When you use solar power on long, sunny days, there is a good chance that you are not going to be using all of the power that you generate with your system. That power can then be routed back to the grid, where it will certainly be used up. Don’t worry, though. You’re not giving away your solar energy for free! Instead, you’re racking up credits with the power company!

When the short winter days arrive, you are right in assuming that you may not quite generate enough solar power to keep the house up and running. You’re still connected to the grid, so you can always use energy that you’ll be paying for. However, when you use a solar energy system, you can also use banked credits from back when you were overproducing energy during the summer! Until you run out of credit, you’re basically using that energy that you already created earlier in the year!

Contact HB Energy Solutions for all of your solar services. HB Energy Solutions delivers peace of mind.

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