When the sun rises, your system – solar panels and solar inverter - begins producing power. The solar power system can be explained in three steps:
- - When sun rays fall on the panels, the energy gets converted into DC power by the solar panels.
- - DC power is converted to AC power by the solar inverter.
- - The solar inverter feeds the home load with AC power.
The more the radiation the more the solar generation. When the radiation is highest during peak hours 11-3pm, the generation is highest during those hours. Examples of solar power generation graphs:
When you're consuming more power than solar generation, you automatically draw power from the grid (import). When you consume less power than the solar generation, the surplus power goes back to the grid (export). When you're producing more energy, and exporting surplus power to the grid, you get a credit against your future consumption. At night, while you're not producing solar energy, your home gets its power from the utility grid. The solar credits you've accumulated during the day offsets the higher energy cost of the grid at night.
The import and export units are recorded in a meter called Net Meter. The billing mechanism is called Net Metering.