Man installing a solar panel on a roof


More and more people are buying solar panels to save more money from using home appliances, according to North Vancouver Appliance Repair. Not surprising, because it is a good investment that is also environmentally friendly. A frequently asked question is still: ‘how do solar panels actually work?’ Read on and find out the answer in this article.

How do solar panels work?

Step 1: The solar panels

The basis of solar panels consists of solar cells. These solar cells work day and night and capture sunlight and convert this sunlight into electricity. These solar cells consist of two layers and get both a negative and a positive voltage under the influence of light. When these two layers are connected to each other, then power enters your house.

Step 2: Converting the flow

By connecting the two layers as explained in step 1, a current will run. The power generated is not the same power used by your home appliances. The inverter in the solar panel system converts the power from your solar panels into alternating current. Alternating current is the power that devices use in your home. The inverter is often located in places such as the attic or in the garage.

Step 3: Meter cupboard

The inverter of step 2 is connected to a group in the meter cupboard. In most cases, a separate group will have to be used for this. The fact is that for a solar panel system with 3 or more panels, an extra power group must be installed. If the inverter is connected to a group in your meter cupboard, then the current you generate is available for use.

Step 4: Use devices in your home

You can now use the power from your solar panels for your electrical appliances in your home. At that moment you use electricity while the electricity meter is stationary and in some cases even decreases when you generate more than you use.

Step 5: Supplying to the public electricity grid

At times you generate more electricity than you consume yourself. This occurs, for example, if you are not at home on a sunny day and your solar panels are constantly working and therefore generating electricity. In this case, there is therefore excess energy. It is possible to supply this back to the public electricity grid. For the excess energy that you supply to the public grid, you only get a low feed-in fee. So try to adjust your house to your energy needs in terms of purchasing the number of solar panels. You can read how many solar panels a household needs in this article about solar panel prices.

In the evenings, your solar panels do not provide electricity, but you often use a lot of power. In this case, you receive your energy from the energy supplier, just as it happened when you did not yet have solar panels.

When you have received energy from the energy company, this will be stated on your energy bill. The energy that you have supplied to the public grid is deducted from this. This process is called netting. An example of this is as follows:

With your solar panels, you deliver 1500 kWh per year back to the grid. Your own consumption is 2500 kWh per year. In this example, up to 1500 kWh is netted and on the remaining 1000 kWh you pay a supply rate from the energy company and energy tax.


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How does the solar panel efficiency work?

Solar panels achieve the highest efficiency during the summer, since in the summer the sun shines most often. However, it is not the case that if the sun does not shine, the solar panels do not work either. The solar panels still catch light when it is cloudy. This is of course less than when the sun is shining.

Which gradient gives you the most?

For the optimization of the efficiency, the right slope is important. The optimal slope in summer differs from the optimal slope in winter:

  • In the summer the sun is on average at 50 degrees
  • In winter, the sun is on average at 20 degrees

If you want to get the best return from it, a middle way must be found. According to solar panel installers, the perfect gradient to get the maximum return from your solar panels is 36 to 38 degrees. So this is a bit more focused on the slope in the summer. When you have a sloping roof, you are often dependent on the slope of the roof. With a flat roof, it is possible to place them in the ideal gradient.

These are the advantages of solar panels

Save on your energy bill

It is possible to save hundreds to thousands of euros by generating energy yourself. A 1 person household saves an average of € 500 per year and a 6 person household an average of € 1,200 per year. More about this can be found in the following article about the solar panels prices.

Cleaner air for future generations

If you use solar panels, CO2 emissions will be reduced. Do you want your child and/or grandchildren, for example, to be able to live in a clean world without worries in the future? Then it is smart to switch to the clean energy of the solar panels.

Higher house value

The modern solar panels are very durable and the label ‘sustainable’ gives extra value to a home. In many cases, the value of the home rises even more than the investment has cost. It is therefore an investment that can hardly go wrong.