As you delve into the solar industry, you’ll encounter its unique jargon. The two most common terms are “Solar Energy” and “Solar Power.”

Solar Energy

In the broadest sense, energy is the ability to perform work. In physics, work occurs when a force moves an object in its direction. Here, we’ll focus on solar power, specifically the electricity your solar panels are expected to produce.

How the Sun’s Energy Affects Everything on Our Planet

The sun’s heat and light impact everything from oceans and air to plants and fungi. This solar influence drives many types of renewable energy. For example, the constant heating and cooling of our atmosphere generates wind, while hydropower relies on natural processes like rain and evaporation, both powered by the sun.

How to Use the Sun for Residential Solar Systems

Photons hitting semi conductive materials, such as silicon, free electrons. This release of electrons generates an electrical charge. Using the right equipment, like high-quality monocrystalline black solar panels, this DC (direct current) electric charge can be converted into AC (alternating current) electricity, which powers our homes.

Solar Power

Energy also refers to the flow from one place to another. Solar power specifically involves converting sunlight into electricity at a specific rate to power homes and appliances. Imagine it like a garden hose filling a swimming pool. The pool’s water level represents the available solar energy, while the hose—our solar system—has a pressure that indicates our power. A more efficient solar system converts more energy, thus producing more power.

Central Inverters

Central inverters are like garden hoses with lower pressure. They are the sole inverters of the system, and if one malfunctions, the entire inverter needs replacement. However, their effectiveness depends on the efficiency of the least efficient solar panel.


In contrast, microinverters are akin to garden hoses with higher pressure. They convert DC to AC right at the panel, meaning you might have between 15 and 25 additional pieces of hardware. Each inverter is specifically designed to optimize performance with its corresponding solar panel.

This post was written by Daniel Massaad, owner and expert solar technician at Energy Solutions Direct! ESD is the top choice for solar companies St Petersburg FL! Our licensed and certified contractors are masters of their craft; with years of experience servicing the great Tampa Bay area and beyond, the choice is simple. ESD excels at offering you the best in solar value!

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