Solar panels have been heralded as a potential alternative energy source for decades! Solar installation now adorns roofs to highway signs as well as helping to keep spacecraft going. But, how does a solar panel system operate?
What do you know about home solar panels? First, see how a solar panel works.
What is the process of making the Solar Panel System Work?
A solar panel generates electricity by enabling photons, or light particles, to break electrons loose from atoms. This results in the production of a flow of energy.
Several smaller components make up solar panels known as photovoltaic cells. Several individual cells make up a solar panel. Each photovoltaic cell is essentially a sandwich consisting of two slices of semiconductor materials; often silicon sandwiched together.
Photovoltaic cells need the establishment of an electric field to function correctly. It works similarly to a magnetic field, which is produced by the separation of opposing poles.
You make up an electric field when you separate opposing charges. How? You create this field by doping silicon with other materials. These materials cause each slice of the sandwich to have a positive or negative electrical charge. This charge depends on the material used.
To be more precise, phosphorus is introduced into the top layer of silicon. As a consequence, additional electrons with a negative charge are added to the top layer of silicon. Boron is applied to the bottom layer, leading to fewer electrons or a positive charge.
All of this adds up to form an electric field at the intersection between the two silicon layers. Then, when a photon of sunlight strikes one electron loose, the electric field will drive that electron out from the silicon connection, and the process will repeat.
These electrons are converted into usable energy by a handful of additional elements in the cell. Finally, the electrons are collected and transferred to wires by using metal electrodes on the sidewalls of the cell. At that moment, electrons may be used as a source of electricity in the same way as any other.
For example, researchers have developed ultra-thin, flexible solar cells that are 1/100th the thickness of human hair. They weigh only 20 grams. The cells are so small that they can fit on top of a bubble, but they can generate energy as efficiently as glass-based solar panels.
These new solar cells may be used in architecture, aircraft, or even smart wearable electronics such as smartwatches, etc.
Advantages of Solar Power
Installing a residential solar panel system in your home helps fight toxic emissions and therefore helps decrease global warming. Solar panels are clean and do not pollute. They also reduce our dependence on finite fossil fuels and conventional power sources.
To know more, consult with experts in solar development who can explain and help you decide whether solar is suitable for your company.
Put Those Solar Panels to Work!
While the underlying science of solar is complex, the advantages to a company or property owner are simple. We hope we have helped you understand how a solar panel system works.
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