Solar Energy Systems: How They Work. If you want a more environmentally responsible home, one step is to install a solar energy system. After all, the sun’s energy has been shining down on us in the Main Line for millions of years. O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning sells the Lennox® SunSource® Energy System to help you create a greener, less oil- and gas-dependent home. But how does this system work? In a sentence: the system uses solar modules, made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, to collect energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. Afterwards, the electricity can be used to power appliances, lights and other electrical devices in your home – from your HVAC systems to your phone charger. Grid-tied PV systems If you live in the Main Line, you’re likely going to want a grid-tied PV system. These are the most affordable solar energy systems, and they’re linked 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 when the system isn’t gathering energy. In addition, grid-tied systems let your system feed surplus energy back into the grid, causing your meter to spin backwards. We call this process net-metering. The backward spin lets you save on utility expenses that are decided based on how far forward your meter has spun. Please note that most solar rebates and incentives are only available if your system is grid-tied. The second option is a stand-alone PV system, which costs more. Stand-alone systems are not connected to the utility grid and are good options when your home is in a remote location, not near a utility service or power lines. O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning in the Main Line is happy to help with your solar energy system questions. Give us a call at 610-626-2540 or schedule an appointment online.