A photovoltaic system uses panels to create and harness electron movement. Electrons get bumped around by photons, or light particles, from the sun. A modern system gets sized for your needs. There’s a device called an inverter that turns the steady flow of electrons from your panels, into the kind of electricity your home uses. The system also includes racks that mount to your roof, rails to hold the panels, conduit to hold the wires running from the panel array to the inverter and main electrical service box, and all the connectors associated with these parts.
The highest percentage of systems are grid tied. That means: extra power you create during the day is shipped to the utility grid. Power you use at night, when you’re not making power, is pulled from the utility grid. A meter keeps track of how much power moves each way. Modern systems are usually connected to the same utility grid that provides your existing service. In this way, a seamless supply of energy is always at your service.
As you can see, batteries are not essential for grid-tied solar power. Although, they are gaining popularity among homeowners looking for a quiet, clean and seamless electricity backup system. The convenience of charging with the sun is compelling, compared to a gasoline-powered solution. In emergencies, gasoline can be in short supply.