Solar panels: How Do They Produce Electricity?
- Author Brenda Barrio
- Published September 15, 2021
- Word count 457
When you see solar panels on roofs, have you ever wondered what they do and how they do it? The glass expenses may be high-tech, but they're only one part of a complex system harnessing the sun's energy to fuel the home inside.
Here's a quick look at how solar power works.
STEP 1: SUNLIGHT ACTIVATES THE PANELS.
Panels are made up of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a casing made of glass, and wiring. The panels are arranged together into “arrays” (a series of panels arranged in an ordered manner) and placed on rooftops or in large outdoor areas to achieve maximum impact. During daylight hours, solar cells, or photovoltaic cells, absorb sunlight.
STEP 2: THE CELLS PRODUCE ELECTRICAL CURRENT.
There are two layers of silicon in each solar cell, which together form a thin semiconductor wafer. The top layer is positively charged, while the bottom layer is negatively charged, forming an electric field. Sunlight strikes a photovoltaic solar cell, energizing it and causing electrons within the semiconductor wafer to 'come loose'. By setting these loose electrons into motion, the electric field which surrounds the wafer generates an electrical current.
STEP 3: ELECTRICAL ENERGY IS CONVERTED.
As a result, sunlight is converted easily into electricity, but the electricity generated is called direct current (or DC) electricity, which is different from alternating current (or AC) electricity that powers most homes. By using an inverter, DC electricity is converted to AC electricity. Modern solar panels can incorporate multiple inverters or have microinverters attached behind the solar panels.
STEP 4: CONVERTED ELECTRICITY POWERS YOUR HOME.
Once the solar energy has been converted from DC to AC electricity, it is fed into your electrical panel and distributed in your home to power your appliances. Using this system works exactly like generating electricity through the grid by your electric company, so nothing has to be changed inside your home. You can still access your traditional power company for backup power when you run out of solar electricity.
STEP 5: NET METERING
If it is cloudy or overnight, your solar panels may be unable to capture enough light to generate energy; conversely, in the middle of the day when nobody is home, they will collect a lot of energy - more than you will need for your home. A meter is used to measure the electricity flowing to and from your home. The utility company will provide credits for any surplus energy you send to the grid. This is called net metering.
Now that you have a basic idea of how solar energy works, you can admire how today's solar energy technology can capture the sun to help you operate your home. It may not be rocket science—but it is human ingenuity.
Written by Brenda Barrio of Sunline Energy - https://www.sunlineenergy.com
Solar Panel Installations : https://www.sunlineenergy.com/california/best-solar-company-san-diego-ca/Article source: https://articlebiz.com
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