Solar panels, often seen on rooftops or in solar farms, are amazing devices that harness the power of the sun to generate electricity. But have you ever wondered how they actually work? Well, let’s break it down in simple terms.
It all starts with the sun. Sunlight is made up of tiny particles of energy called photons. These photons travel through space and reach the Earth.
Solar panels are made of many smaller units called solar cells, typically made of silicon. When sunlight hits these cells, they absorb the photons.
When the photons are absorbed by the solar cells, their energy is transferred to electrons in the silicon. This extra energy kicks the electrons into action, and they start moving.
The movement of these energized electrons creates an electric current. This is essentially the flow of electricity. This current is in the form of direct current (DC).
Most of the appliances in our homes and businesses use alternating current (AC), not DC. So, the DC electricity produced by the solar panels needs to be converted into AC electricity. This is where an inverter comes in. It switches the DC to AC so that you can power your gadgets.
Use or Store
At this point, the electricity can be used to power your lights, TV, and other devices. If you’re not using all the electricity produced, it can be stored in batteries for later use or even fed back into the grid for others to use, depending on your setup.
Solar panels have different levels of efficiency, which means they can convert varying amounts of sunlight into electricity. The more efficient the panels, the more electricity they can produce from the same amount of sunlight.
Solar panels are pretty low-maintenance. They don’t have any moving parts, so they don’t wear out quickly. However, they do need to be kept clean and occasionally checked for damage.
Using solar panels helps reduce the burning of fossil fuels, which is great for the environment. It cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions and helps combat climate change.
In a nutshell, solar panels work by capturing sunlight and converting it into electricity through a series of simple yet ingenious processes. They’re a clean and renewable source of energy that’s becoming more accessible to homes and businesses, offering a brighter and greener future for us all.
This post was written by Daniel Massaad, owner and expert solar technician at Energy Solutions Direct! ESD is the top choice for solar panels in Clearwater! Our licensed and certified contractors are masters of their craft; with years of experience servicing the great Tampa Bay area and beyond, the choice is simple. ESD excels at offering you the best in solar value!