A Summary of How Solar Panels Generate Power for Our Homes
People left and right talk about the fantastic benefits that solar panels can give you, from their money-saving ability to their eco-friendly sustainability. However, not many people know how solar panels do that, let alone how they work to provide you with power.
If you are wondering how solar panels work, you are in the right place. This article will talk about how solar panels convert the light emitted by our powerful sun and turn it into usable energy to power our homes. Since the process is quite complicated, we will simplify many aspects of it to give you a good general idea of how everything works.
Before we talk about the panels themselves, we will talk about the source of energy: the sun. Millions of miles away, the sun, or Sol, as some people call it, acts as a massive nuclear reactor that provides energy to our planet. In this reactor, it hurls out massive amounts of energy in the form of photons, which is what light is made of. Some of these photons reach earth, providing us with the warmth and light we all attribute the sun for.
The Solar Panel
A solar panel's main job is to collect the sun's photons and turn them into energy. It consists of a collection of PV (photovoltaic) cells that comprise most of the solar panel itself. The PV cells are covered with glass to protect the modules and stitched together with a metal frame. The PV cells themselves are commonly made out of thinly-sliced silicon, a semiconductive material.
Delving deeper into the PV cells, you will find two different layers in each cell. The first layer is the negative layer. Here, electrons are packed together tightly, while the second layer, the positive layer, has plenty of room for these electrons to get to.
It is the movement of these electrons from the negative to the positive layer that allows solar panels to generate power. However, you might be wondering how they move in the first place? That is where the photons come in.
As the PV cells are aimed at the sun, the photons are collected on the solar panels, bombarding their electrons with energy, causing them to move from the negative layer to the positive layer. This is also known as the photovoltaic effect and is the reason solar panels can generate electricity.
Powering the home
With the movement of the electrons, a direct current (DC) is made. However, homes utilize alternating current (AC). To fix this issue, inverters are used to convert DC into AC.
That being said, as the electrons flow from the negative layer to the positive layer, it flows through wires that are connected all over the home, dropping off power as needed by our appliances.
We hope that you now understand how solar panels work. That said, this is just a condensed version of the entire process. There are many other aspects to solar panels that allow it to power your home and provide you with various benefits.
However, if you are worried that not knowing these things will affect your solar panels' outcome, do not be. There are plenty of professionals out there who have a thorough understanding of how solar panels work and how they can benefit you. All you need to do is ask them for the best solution that will fit your need, and they will give you the recommendations you need to hear.
SoCal Solar Guru offers installation and services to help homeowners maximize their solar panel investments through savings, rebates, and more. If you are looking for solar panels for homes in the US, work with us today!