Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic panels, are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. They are made up of a number of solar cells, which are made of semiconductor materials such as silicon. When sunlight hits a solar cell, it excites the electrons in the semiconductor material and causes them to flow, creating an electric current. This current can be used to power homes, businesses, and other facilities.
How Solar Panel Work
Here is a more detailed explanation of how solar panels work:
- Photons in sunlight hit the solar panel and are absorbed by the semiconductor material: When sunlight hits a solar panel, it is composed of tiny packets of energy called photons. These photons are absorbed by the semiconductor material in the solar cell, which is typically made of silicon.
- The absorbed photons create an excess of electrons, which causes a voltage to be generated across the solar cell: When the photons are absorbed by the semiconductor material, they transfer their energy to the electrons in the material. This excites the electrons and causes them to become more energetic. As a result, an excess of electrons is created, which generates a voltage across the solar cell.
- The excess electrons flow through the material and create an electric current: The excess electrons created by the absorbed photons flow through the semiconductor material, creating an electric current. This current is captured by metal contacts on the surface of the solar cell and sent through wires to an inverter.
- The electric current is captured by metal contacts on the surface of the solar cell and sent through wires to an inverter: The metal contacts on the surface of the solar cell are connected to wires, which are used to transmit the electric current generated by the solar cell to the inverter.
- The inverter converts the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panel into alternating current (AC) electricity: The inverter is a device that converts the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panel into alternating current (AC) electricity. AC electricity is the type of electricity used in homes and businesses.
- The AC electricity is then sent to a breaker panel, where it can be used to power appliances and other devices: Once the electric current has been converted to AC electricity, it is sent to a breaker panel. The breaker panel is a central hub that distributes the electricity throughout the building. The electricity can then be used to power appliances and other devices. Any excess electricity that is not used can be sent back to the grid for others to use.
Solar panels are an increasingly popular source of renewable energy because they do not produce any greenhouse gases or other harmful pollutants. They are also relatively simple and low maintenance, making them a cost-effective option for generating electricity.