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 provided to us in Linn County for hundreds of years. Ilten's Incorporated offers the Lennox® SunSource® Energy System to help you create a more efficient home that doesn’t heavily rely on oil and gas. Just how does this system work? Put simply, the system uses solar modules, made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, to harvest energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. After this process, the electricity will power appliances, lights and other electrical devices in your home – from your HVAC systems to your computer. Grid-tied PV systems If you’re located in or around Cedar Rapids, you will 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 at times when the system isn’t gathering energy. Grid-tied systems also enable your system to feed extra energy back into the grid, causing your meter to spin backwards. This process is called net-metering. The backward spin lets you save on utility expenses that are decided based on 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. The second option is a stand-alone PV system, which is more costly. Stand-alone systems are not linked 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. Ilten's Incorporated in Cedar Rapids is ready to help with your solar energy system questions. Give us a call at 319-208-3295 or set up an appointment online.