Solar Electricity for Your Home and Public Utility
Connect your solar panel array to your storage battery. The solar panel array is your electrical source. It will be connected to a charge controller first to regulate the rate of electrical current that is added to your battery. The charge controller is necessary to prevent overcharge, a safety risk that can damage the battery. The DC electricity is conducted via metal wire through the charge controller to your battery.
Connect your battery to a power inverter. The DC electricity must be converted to alternating current (AC) electricity, the accepted electrical current for most appliances and the national utility grid. Wiring will go from the battery to a circuit breaker and shunt, and then transport DC electricity into the inverter. The circuit breaker and shunt allow the electric current to be broken to prevent overload and damage, another way to regulate the flow of electricity in your system.
Connect your power inverter to the AC fuse box in your home. The power inverter uses a series of switches and transformers to convert the DC to AC electricity necessary to provide power to your outlets and in turn appliances and electronics.
The wires connected to your electric panel are the final stop along the conductive wiring connections. The sun's energy has been converted to an electrical current, further refined into a more malleable current, and now powers your electronics, appliances and light bulbs.
Connect a AC generator to your inverter to provide additional power when solar energy is not enough. Solar energy can be unpredictable, and solar panels are only 15 percent efficient at converting the sun's energy into electrical currents. For these reasons, a backup source of energy is necessary to meet your power needs.
Connect your electric panel to a special utility meter. If by chance your solar panel array is large enough and/or your house has limited electrical requirements (i.e., you home is energy-efficient), you may be able to sell excess electricity back to your utility company. Only AC electricity is acceptable. In order to sell electricity generated from your home, you need a special electric meter that runs backward as well as forward. Any electricity you use from the grid will increase your kilowatt-hour usage, but any electricity you generate back to the grid decreases your usage, and your bill is credited.