Rooftops and roadside signs are adorned with solar panels, and spacecraft are powered by solar panels. But how do solar panels work?
What Is Solar Energy?
A solar cell generates an electric current when photons reach it from somewhere – the sun. Solar energy is produced by constant nuclear fusion reactions deep within the sun. In the sun, protons (which are essentially hydrogen atoms) collide and fuse under extreme temperatures and pressure to create helium through nuclear fusion. Every second, this reaction produces over 500 million tons of hydrogen atoms in the core of the sun, releasing a massive amount of energy (plus more protons).
The result? The sun emits enormous amounts of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) at a temperature of around seven million degrees Fahrenheit. All types of electromagnetic radiation are produced by the sun and carried to earth as photons.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
When photons hit a solar cell, they knock electrons out of their atoms and loosen their spins. In order to form an electrical connection, a conductor must be attached to the positive and negative sides of a cell.
Here are the steps of how solar panels work
When electrons flow through a circuit of this kind, electricity is generated. Multiple cells make up a solar panel, and multiple panels (modules) make up a solar array. You will be able to generate more energy as a result of deploying more panels.
How Do Solar Panels Generate Electricity For Your Home?
In order for a solar panel to function, the first step is to generate electricity, but that is not the end of the process. Here are some of the ways solar panels can be used to generate usable electricity for your home:
1. Solar Cells Absorb And Convert The Sun’s Energy Into DC Electricity
As explained above, the solar cells that make up each solar panel do the heavy lifting when it comes to actually generate electricity. Through the photovoltaic effect, your solar panels produce an electrical current.
2. Inverters Convert Dc Electricity From Solar Panels To AC Electricity Used By Home Appliances
The DC electricity that passes through your solar inverter is converted into AC electricity as soon as it passes through the inverter. Transformers can also be incorporated into inverters so that the voltage of DC and AC currents can be controlled.
3. Your Home Is Powered By Electricity
A solar inverter is a device that converts AC energy to DC energy, which is transferred to your home’s electric box. Then the electricity will be dispersed through your house to all of your outlets so that when your devices need to be plugged in, a usable amount of electricity will be available when you plug in.
4. Solar Panels Feed Electricity Into The Grid
With a grid-tied solar system, electricity can be run simultaneously from and to your home’s power grid, so you can make money from the excess electricity produced by your panels as well. A policy known as net metering allows you to receive credits when you send electricity back to the power grid, which in turn makes your overall cost of electricity even lower as you receive credit from the power grid when you send electricity back to it. Learn more about the net metering policy.
How Does Weather Affect Solar Energy?
The amount of electricity a solar system produces can be affected by weather conditions, but not in the way you might think. A clear, sunny day is, of course, one of the best conditions for the production of solar energy. In fact, solar panels are actually more effective in cold weather than in warm weather, and this is true for most types of electronics as well. By doing this, you will be able to generate more electricity in the same period of time from the solar panel. With the rise in temperature, the panel generates less voltage and produces less electricity as the temperature rises.
Despite being more efficient in cold weather, solar panels do not necessarily produce more electricity in winter. During the summer months, there is usually more sunshine than during the winter months. In addition to the fact that there are fewer clouds, the sun is often out for a longer period of time during the day. As a result, even though your panels may be less efficient in warm weather, they will still likely produce more electricity than they do in the winter even though they may be less efficient.
With a basic understanding of solar energy, you can marvel at the fact that today’s photovoltaic technology is capable of harnessing the vast power of the sun in order to power a home using only natural resources. It may not be rocket science-but it is definitely a fine example of human ingenuity at its best. Interested? Speak to a representative today!