Have you seen solar panels. They are usually made up of still frames that contain solar cells, also called photovoltaic (PV) cells . These days, you can even find flexible solar panels that can get rolled up for storage. It is pretty amazing that these thin sheets of cells can actually produce energy to power electronics, appliances, and other devices. Even better, they produce electricity from a clean and renewable source. Once you invest in solar panels, your power is free too.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
To understand how solar panels work, it is important to understand how the sun works. That big yellow globe is actually an enormous nuclear reactor. It’s a good thing that it is 93 million miles away. Otherwise, we might all get burnt to a crisp.
Still, it is close enough to send enough energy our way to supply all of the population’s energy needs and more. It is just that most of the energy that the sun does send is not used efficiently. Sure, sure it warms our atmosphere and provides plants with the energy they need to grow. But we know that we can’t just throw a couple of batteries outside in the sun and expect them to charge themselves.
These are important components of solar energy system. When you understand how they work, it will be easier to understand how solar panels work to deliver electricity out of sunlight.
Solar Cells: These solar, or PV, cells capture energy from the sun in the way that a plant captures energy with its leaves. Plants use chlorophyll to turn that energy into food. Solar cells don’t turn energy into food, but they can convert it into DC electricity.
See, the material in these panels produces electricity when it gets struck by light. There are two basic types of solar cells, and these are made from either silicone or “thin film.” Silicone is usually the more expensive choice, but it is also more efficient than thin film. If you decide to compare solar panels, make sure you find out what the solar cells are made out of.
Inverter: The inverter is the second part of a solar energy system. They convert DC power into common AC power, and this is what most people need to charge batteries or run an appliance.
Why Are Solar Panels Important?
Every light, laptop, and hot water heater that we can power with solar energy reduces our dependence upon traditional energy sources. Burning oil and even methane both emit greenhouse gasses like carbon and methane gas. These are responsible for creating for climate change. While some greenhouse gasses are natural, dramatic increases come from human activities.
Of course, an investment in solar panels can also save you a lot of money on your electric bills. You can even use them to produce excess power that you can send back to your local power grid and get paid for. Imagine how great it would be to have the electric company pay you for a change.