The most common type of solar energy for homes is called Photovoltaic or PV solar, and solar panels are the most important part of this PV system.
Solar panels come in various sizes and can be installed on the ground or, more commonly, on the roof of your home. These panels absorb the sun’s rays, convert the sunlight into energy, and generate a direct electrical current.
What are Solar Panels Made Of?
Solar panels are made up of a series of interconnected silicon, phosphorus, and boron cells. These cells join together to create a circuit. The greater number of cells, the greater amount of power a panel is able to produce.
How Do Solar Panels Convert Sunlight to Energy?
Let’s take a closer look at the process solar panel systems take when converting sunlight into power.
- As sun shines down, your solar panels absorb the photons and initiate an electric current.
- This current knocks electrons out of their atomic orbits into the electrical field and into a directional current. This is called the Photovoltaic (PV) Effect.
- The PV Effect creates direct current (DC) electricity.
- The DC power then flows down to an inverter where it converts this electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity.
- The panel sends electricity to whatever it is you’re powering or heating.