Are you looking for a new way to power your home? Installing solar panels is one of the best ways to save money on your energy bills. It’s also one of the most environmentally friendly options out there. Going solar is a smart choice if you want to lessen your impact on the environment while saving money on bills. With a little help from us, you can find out if going solar is right for you in just a few minutes and how do solar panels work!
Solar energy can help to reduce the cost of electricity, contribute to a resilient electrical grid, create jobs and spur economic growth, generate backup power for nighttime and outages when paired with storage, and operate at similar efficiency on both small and large scales.
Solar panels have been around for a long time, but only in the last few decades have they been used to generate a substantial amount of power. The Earth receives 10,000 times more energy than the world’s population uses. So could it be possible that one day we will be completely reliant on solar energy? Now the big question arises, “how do solar panels work?”
A solar panel is a device that uses light from the sun to create electricity. Photons from the sun hit electrons in atoms, causing them to separate from their parent atoms and flow freely through a material called a semiconductor. This flow of electric current can be used for many purposes, such as powering electronic devices and running motors.
In this article, we will discuss how do solar panels work for your home and how this energy creates electrical charges that move in response to an internal electric field in the cell, causing electricity to flow.
Let us have a look, how solar panels work step by step :
How Do Solar Panels Work?
A solar panel works and generates electricity when particles of sunlight knock electrons free from atoms, which sets in motion a flow of electrons. With this flow, electricity is created and solar panels capture this flow of electricity making it a usable electric current.
Solar power generation begins when solar panels absorb sunlight with photovoltaic cells, generating direct current (DC) energy. This DC energy is then converted to usable alternating current (AC) energy with the help of inverter technology. AC energy then flows through the home’s electrical panel and is distributed accordingly. Here are some important steps how solar panels work for your home use:
- Firstly, photovoltaic cells absorb the sun’s energy and convert it to DC electricity
- Secondly, the solar inverter converts DC electricity from your solar modules to AC electricity which is used by home usage
- Thirdly, this electricity flows through your home, powering electronic devices
- Lastly, the electricity produced by solar panels is fed to the electric grid such as On-grid Solar Power System, Off-grid Solar Power System, Hybrid Solar Power System
Now that you have a basic idea of how electricity generates and how do solar panels work, let’s have a deeper dive into the science behind the solar photovoltaic panel below:
How Is Solar PV Cells Made?
Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells convert solar energy into electricity. The materials used to make solar PV cells are silicon and thin-film technologies. When sunlight falls on a solar cell, it is absorbed by the semiconductor material and excites electrons in the material. The excited electrons then flow through the solar cell to produce a direct current. To generate an alternating current that can be used in homes, businesses, or vehicles, a number of solar cells are connected together.
The photovoltaic process works through the following simplified steps:
- The silicon photovoltaic solar cell absorbs solar radiation
- When sunlight strikes a silicon cell, the electrons begin to move, creating electricity
- Wires carry the direct current (DC) electricity to a solar inverter, which converts it to alternating current (AC) electricity
A silicon solar cell is made of two types of silicon, which are N-type silicon has extra electrons, while P-type silicon has extra spaces for electrons called holes. When the two types meet, electrons are able to move across the junction to create a negative charge on one side of the cell and a positive charge on the other side.
When the flow of tiny particles called photons strikes the silicon cell, it can knock an electron from its bond leaving a hole. Now the negatively charged electron and the positively charged hole are free to move all around. The electron is drawn towards the negative side and the whole is drawn towards the positive side.
The free electrons are collected by thin metal fingers at the top of the cell. From there, they flow through an external circuit, doing electrical work, like powering a light bulb before returning through the conductive aluminum sheet on the back.
Although today’s most efficient solar cell converts 46% of the available sunlight to electricity, and commercial systems are 15-20% efficient, the entire world could be powered by today’s solar technology. But if we could get more out of each solar cell, it would be possible to power the whole world with today’s technology. The Sahara Desert is said to be around 3 million square miles and solar cell technology, which has been around since the early 20th century, is improving and becoming cheaper.
Solar energy is one of the most prominent forms of renewable energy. But, while solar panels are generally inexpensive to produce, they can be hard to set up in places without access to reliable energy grids. Some researchers have proposed ways around this problem by creating floating solar farms on lakes or reservoirs. These facilities would tap into existing power grids and provide electricity for nearby communities.
India has traditionally relied on coal-fired power plants for electricity generation. In 2018-19, coal-generated 72% of the country’s electricity. However, India also has a high population and abundant sunshine – about 300 days of sun each year – which makes solar energy an ideal source of power. The country’s solar capacity reached 36.6GW at the end of the first quarter of 2020, with the aim of growing to 100GW by 2022.
The Science Behind Solar Panels
Solar energy conversion, also known as the photovoltaic effect, is the process of converting sunlight into electricity. A typical solar cell converts light into direct current electricity using the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels are the main technology used to harness solar energy and transform it into usable forms of power.
Light strikes the photovoltaic cell, then it is absorbed by the semiconducting material (usually silicon). This incoming light energy causes electrons in the silicon to be knocked loose. These electrons will eventually become solar electricity you can use at home.
There are two layers of silicon in a photovoltaic cell, and each one is specially treated to create an electric field. This means one side has a net positive charge and the other has a net negative charge. The electric field causes loose electrons to flow in one direction through the solar cell, generating an electrical current.
Once the solar cells are exposed to sunlight, an electric current is generated by loose electrons. Metal plates on the sides of each solar cell collect those electrons and transfer them to wires. At this point, electrons can flow like electricity through the wiring to a solar inverter and then throughout your home.
If you want to start saving money on electricity, then installing solar panels can lessen your dependence on fossil fuels while also reducing your electricity bills.
Solar panels are a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. But how exactly do solar panels work? We’ve got the answers you need to make an informed decision about whether or not adding solar panels to your home is right for you. Let us know if you have any questions, and we’ll try our best to answer them!