Many people are developing curiosity about the growing trend of solar energy. They want to know how effective this method actually is and how they can incorporate it into their lives. But many are still in the dark about how these devices work.
What sort of technology are these power cells using to harness the sun’s energy? Do these cells have the potential to serve as our primary energy source? And what is the best way to incorporate this technology into our everyday lives?
We’re here to answer all of these questions for you – and more! We’ll shed some light on how these impressive pieces of equipment work and how you can start taking advantage of this unique energy source.
How Solar Panels Work – Step by Step
Solar power is an innovative form of clean energy, but many of us still don’t know much about it. Sure, we know that solar panels absorb the sun’s rays and somehow convert them into electricity. But how does this intricate process work? What allows a mere panel to convert something so plentiful into a necessary commodity in today’s world? The answer might surprise you.
Powering a solar panel starts with a photovoltaic cell. This type of cell absorbs the sunlight’s energy and converts it into electricity. It allows particles of light (otherwise known as photons) to knock electrons loose from their atoms. It then uses these electrons to create electricity. This process is very intricate and delicate – when you create photovoltaic cells and solar panels, you have the potential to create a lethal charge. So, if you ever attempt to make one of these devices, it’s important that you understand every part of the device before you begin.
So, how do these photovoltaic cells work?
When photovoltaic cells are combined with conductive materials, they can make a solar panel. This can be done many times over to create the large and intricate solar panels you see used to power homes and other complexes.
But first, the cells themselves have to be built. This is done by placing two pieces of semiconductive material on top of one another. Silicone is typically used as the semiconductive material.
But having a semiconductive material alone isn’t enough to power the photovoltaic cell – you need an electrical field for them to work. Electrical fields are created when two negative charges are put against each other. When this electrical field is created, the photons (sunlight particles) shine down on the photovoltaic cell and knock electrons loose, which can eventually be used to create electricity.
How do Solar Panels Work to Generate Electricity
For the solar panel to generate electricity, you first need to build the photovoltaic cells that make up the solar panel. This is usually done by taking a semiconductive material – like silicone – and using it to create an electric field. However, the silicone alone isn’t enough to make the electric field. This type of field requires positive and negative charges to work against each other – but the initial pieces of silicone both have the same charge.
To create the electrical field, the two pieces of silicone need to be given opposite charges. This only happens when they’re treated with elements that have the ability to alter the original charge of the silicone. The piece of silicone that sits on top is usually taken and charged with phosphorous – this adds more electrons to the silicone, giving it a negative charge.
Once the phosphorus has been added to the top layer of the silicone, the bottom layer needs to be charged. The bottom layer of silicone is usually charged with boron because this element can take away electrons, giving the silicone a positive charge. Once these two steps have been completed, the photovoltaic cells can absorb electricity.
What is the Solar Panel Working Principle?
Once the photovoltaic cells have absorbed enough phosphorous and boron, they’re negatively charged. This means that when they’re combined, it’s possible to create an electrical field with enough power to generate electricity.
These opposing charges absorb enough energy from photons to knock electrons loose from their atoms. When this happens, the electrons can be gathered and used for electricity.
Once they’ve been freed, the loose electrons have to be gathered. Photovoltaic cells themselves don’t have enough power to do this on their own, but this is where solar panels come in. Solar panels combine photovoltaic cells (along with several other parts) to make it possible to transfer the energy that the cells capture.
They do this by adding metal plates to each solar panel, which collect the freed electrons. Once the electrons have been gathered in the metal plates, they’re transferred to the device in need of power. This process is what enables you to use solar energy to power your devices.
How do Solar Panels Work at Night?
Solar panels are incredibly efficient devices. However, if you want to use them at night, you’re out of luck. Solar panels rely on photons from the sun’s light to convert their electric field into useable energy. When night comes, there isn’t enough photon energy to continue this process. The moon only reflects the sun’s light, and the few rays that do make it to earth aren’t strong enough to produce any reaction with the electric field of your solar panel.
But this doesn’t mean you’ll have to go without energy at night. Many solar energy companies can store the excess energy created by your solar panels into a battery cell. When night comes, you can use this excess energy to power your home. You can also keep your utility connections just in case you don’t have enough power to work with – though if you invest in high-quality products, this is unlikely to be the case.
If your solar panels don’t have a battery cell for storing excess energy, you can get around this by putting your energy in a utility grid. Many utility companies appreciate having the extra energy and will pay you for choosing to use this option.