How do solar panels work?

Harnessing the power of the sun is one of the biggest technological advances of our era and has the potential to provide humankind with an infinite supply of energy.

So… How does this amazing technology work?

It all starts with the solar cell, which is the basic component of your solar panel. Panels are made up of many cells, and multiple panels are wired together to create an array that generates electricity as a system.

According to the law of conservation of energy (it’s a physics thing!), energy can’t be destroyed or created – but it can be converted from one form to another. In the case of solar panels, light energy from the sun is converted into to electrical energy.

The way solar cells work is a function of both physics and chemistry known as the photovoltaic (PV) effect. Each cell absorbs photons emitted by the sun and converts them to electrons (negatively charged particles).

The electrons flow through the semiconductor material (usually silicon) of the cell as an electrical current to a solar inverter.

The inverter then converts the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), which is the form of electrical energy typically used in residences and businesses.

This current then connects to your home’s electrical circuit, flows into the electric grid or to your solar battery, charging it for later use.

So, as long as the sun keeps shining, we have an endless source of energy that can be generated without emitting carbon dioxide!

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