How is Solar Energy Converted into Electricity?

It may seem like electricity magically appears when we plug into the power of the sun, but it’s not magic. It’s science. 

Sunlight is composed of tiny particles called photons. When sunlight reaches the Earth, these photons carry energy.

Just how is solar energy captured, converted, and eventually transformed into the electricity that powers our homes, businesses, and vehicles? A.M. Sun Solar & Roofing has all the answers. Feel free to contact us. Until then, keep reading as we explain it in a nutshell.

The Foundation of Solar Power

At the heart of solar energy conversion lies the solar photovoltaic (PV) cell. These cells, typically made of silicon, are responsible for converting sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. When sunlight strikes the surface of these cells, it excites electrons, generating an electric current. This direct conversion of solar energy into electricity is the key principle behind solar power generation.

Solar Panels

Solar PV cells are arranged into panels. Solar panels are strategically placed to receive the maximum amount of sunlight throughout the day. The electricity generated by solar panels is in the form of direct current (DC). However, most of our electrical appliances and the power grid itself operate on alternating current (AC). Inverters are used to convert the DC electricity produced by the panels into AC electricity, making it compatible with the existing electrical infrastructure. 

Grid Connection

Solar power systems are often connected to the electrical grid, allowing excess electricity to be fed back into the grid. This process, known as net metering, enables homeowners and businesses to receive credits of compensation for the surplus electricity they contribute. 

On sunny days when solar panels produce more electricity than is needed, the excess energy is fed into the grid. On cloudy days or at night, electricity can be drawn from the grid as usual.

Energy Storage

Energy storage systems, such as batteries, play an important role in storing excess energy for later use. These systems ensure a continuous power supply during periods of low sunlight or grid outages. 

As technology advances, solar power is becoming an increasingly accessible and efficient source of clean energy. Embracing solar power is not only revolutionizing the way we power so much of what we use in our daily lives, it is a commitment to a brighter and more sustainable future. 

More About A.M. Sun Solar & Roofing

A.M. Sun Solar & Roofing is the local leader in custom solar solutions and installations on the Central Coast. For over two decades, A.M. Sun Solar & Roofing has provided high quality, cost efficient solar energy to residences and small businesses in San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Kern, Fresno, and Santa Barbara counties. With a wide variety of financing solutions available, affordable pricing, custom solutions and complete installations from permit to interconnection, A.M. Sun Solar & Roofing is the go-to local solar company on the Central Coast.

Connect with us today at, (805) 772-6786, or fill out the form below to get a FREE on-site consultation with one of our friendly solar & roofing experts.