Those panels that seem to just sit there are actually doing a lot of work. Tiny packets of energy called photons are generated by our Sun and travel 93 million miles to a solar cell where an electron is knocked loose, an electrical circuit is created. These panels direct the electricity to a waiting battery or through transmission wires and into the power grid. Many cells make up a single solar panel, and connected panels can be connected to form a solar array.
The electricity created from these photons are direct current (DC) electricity. This means that the flow of electricity only goes in one direction, much like a battery powers a flashlight. But the electrical grid in the United States uses alternating current (AC) electricity, which is less expensive to transmit over long distances. To get around this, your solar power system uses an inverter. The inverter functions as the brain of the system, converting DC to AC, providing ground fault, and compiling system statistics. A central inverter has been common to the industry, but with larger power arrays, micro-inverters that handle a single panel have become the more efficient option. This way when one panel goes down or experiences an issue it doesn’t affect the performance of the entire array.