The sun emits solar radiation (or light) every day. Some places on earth receive higher amounts of solar radiation than others, but we all benefit from the amazing power of the sun.

Solar panels are designed to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into beneficial forms of energy to power our homes and buildings. In a nutshell, here’s how to works:

Step 1: Solar panels are installed on your rooftop or in a ground display on your property.
Step 2: Power is captured and converted to electricity.
Step 3: Electricity is distributed as needed.

Installation options

We install AllEarth Renewables solar trackers. Designed in Vermont to withstand New England’s harsh weather, AllEarth trackers are 120-mph wind rated with superior snow-shedding capabilities. The company offers several design options, based upon what makes the most sense for your property.

Your solar system might include roof- or ground-mounted solar panels, or a combination.

Roof-mount systems are always fixed, which means they don’t move. Ground-mount systems can also be fixed. Or they can be single axis, which tilt or swing to follow the sun east to west or up and down in the sky (but they don’t do both).

Or they can be dual axis.

AllEarth Renewables’ dual-axis trackers are unique. They tilt and swing, which enables them to follow the sun as it moves throughout the day. Dual-axis trackers produce up to 45% more energy than fixed solar panels.

But exactly how do solar panels produce energy?

Solar panels work their magic through the use of solar photovoltaics—the process of turning light (photons) into electricity (electrons).

A solar photovoltaic panel (Solar PV) is comprised of many tiny silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells. Although solar cells can be made from a number of semiconductor materials, they are most commonly made from silicon. Silicon is the second most abundant material on the planet.

When the sun shines, its energy is absorbed by these PV cells in the form of photons. This is known as a “PV charge.” The panels turn the PV charge into DC (direct current) electricity, which is captured by wires and plates inside the panels. This voltage is then converted into AC (alternating current), a usable energy source to power appliances and lights in your home or business.

What happens to any excess energy?

Your panels will absorb more energy than you will need at any given time. But no worries! You’ll still get credit for the power your system generates. Thanks to Maine’s net metering policy, you’ll get credit for the extra electricity your system produces and be able to use those credits when your system isn’t generating enough power, such as at night or on dark winter days.

Advancements in solar technology over the past decade have dramatically increased the efficiency of solar panels. We’re excited to see what’s next!