StraightUp Solar offers turnkey solar projects from design to development to installation and beyond. Solar panel selection is just a part of our process to find just the right fit based on the energy needs of your home or business. Here, we shine a light on the most exciting component of the project, your solar panels.

How Does
Solar Work?

How does solar energy work? Magic? It may seem that way, but your StraightUp Solar Project Developer will explain all the components of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system and how it provides electricity to your home or business.

Solar Panels | StraightUp Solar

How it Works

Use our interactive graphic to learn more about how solar can work for your home.


1. Solar Array

The sun's rays hit your solar panels and generate
direct current electricity


2. Inverter

An inverter changes this direct current electricity
to alternating current and it's ready for use in
your home


3. Excess Solar Electricity

Anytime you produce more than you use, the
excess is shared with your utility


4. Net Metering Credits

In exchange, your utility gives you a credit to use
when the sun is down


5. Monitoring

You can even go online to track your solar
energy production

PV Panels

Solar PV energy is created when the sun’s clean energy is gathered and transferred to an electrical field. Solar cells absorb the sun’s rays and stimulate electrical charges, which move through semiconductors embedded in the silicon panels. The electrical charges travel through the panels to the wiring of your solar PV system, and then to your home’s electrical system. Panels pair with your system’s inverters to convert the electrical current from the panels to electricity for your home.

Each solar module (also called panel) is made up of 60 or 72 cells. The modules could be made from either monocrystalline, which has a single silicon crystal per solar cell, or polycrystalline, whose cells are made of multiple silicon crystal fragments. Although both types of panels garner clean energy from the sun, monocrystalline panels perform with higher efficiency.

Panels typically can convert around 20% of the sun’s energy into electricity. However, improvements continue to occur in solar technology, where some demonstration panels reach 40% efficiency! Ask your Project Developer to compare your potential panels’ efficiency levels for you, so you can be confident that your system gathers the greatest amount of clean energy possible.

Solar Panel Wattage

The nameplate wattage on the panel lists the power generated from that panel under ideal conditions. Currently, StraightUp Solar offers panels ranging from 400 watts to 485 watts.

Your home’s total system size is the sum of the panels’ wattage. For instance, an 8KW system would require 20 solar panels listed at 400 watts. Your Project Developer will recommend the best wattage for your project.

Solar Panel Production

Shade, heat, and brightness all impact the energy production of a solar panel. Our Project Developers will pick the best panels suited for your roof or property based on these conditions. A panel’s productivity slowly declines over the years, so be sure to ask about your panels’ annual degradation percentage. 

The panels we offer typically decline by only 0.5% each year, and most systems will generate at least 90% of their nameplate energy over 10 years. StraightUp Solar backs every installation with a 10-year performance guarantee.

Why Choose Our

Solar Panel Products?

StraightUp Solar is a proud member of the Amicus Solar Cooperative, a 100% member-owned solar purchasing organization. Amicus boasts 68 member-owner solar companies. Through our Amicus association, StraightUp Solar can access cost advantages from suppliers, such as discount pricing, favorable credit terms, and rebates. The panels we purchase for our customers undergo a rigorous screening by the Amicus Vendor Selection Committee. Rest assured, your solar panel array is of the utmost quality and performance.

Every solar panel we offer is Tier 1-rated for durability and efficiency. Additionally, they come with long-term performance and manufacturer warranties from top brands. Your Project Developer will explain all warranties and financial information in full detail.

Get in Touch with Our

Solar Company Today

Since 2006, the StraightUp Solar team has installed more than 1,900 residential and commercial solar systems in Illinois and Missouri. As a full-service, turn-key solar company, we handle every step of your project, from design to build. Plus, our operations and maintenance services have you covered after installation for any tune-ups or updates. 

Request a free quote and take our solar quiz today to learn more!

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