How a Solar Energy System Works. If you want a more environmentally friendly home, a natural step is to install a solar energy system. After all, the sun’s energy has been provided to us in East-Central Alabama for hundreds of years. Farnell Mechanical, Inc. offers the Lennox® SunSource® Energy System to help you create a home that relies more on natural energy and less on oil and gas. But how does this system work? In a sentence: the system uses solar modules, made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, to harvest energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. Then, the electricity can be used to power appliances, lights and other electrical devices in your home – from your HVAC systems to your computer. Grid-tied PV systems If you live in Opelika, you’re likely going to want a grid-tied PV system. These are the least expensive solar energy systems, and they’re tied to your utility company’s power grid – hence the name grid-tied. This lets you use solar energy from your system when the PVs are collecting energy and use electricity from the grid at night, or when the system isn’t gathering energy. Additionally, grid-tied systems enable your system to feed additional energy back into the grid, at which time your meter will spin backwards. This process is called net-metering. The backward spin allows you to save on utility expenses that are determined by how far forward your meter has spun. It’s important to note that most solar rebates and incentives are only available if your system is grid-tied. Another option is a stand-alone PV system, which costs more. Stand-alone systems are not connected to the utility grid and are fine options when your home is in a remote location, far away from a utility service or power lines. Farnell Mechanical, Inc. in Opelika is eager to help with your solar energy system questions. Give us a buzz at 334-245-4748 or set up an appointment online.