Learn how solar panels work
The world is fast moving to alternative sources of energy and solar power is a big option these days with the emerging economies. If you belong to one, you would have found the push for solar panels in homes. Developed nations anyways have solar panels installed at various places. But before you decide to get a solar panel for your home, just think if you know how solar panels work. If you don’t know the details, then don’t fret. We will explain the entire process behind the working of solar panels and will show how a simple physical phenomenon can give you immense power at home.
What is solar panel made of?
Before we touch upon how solar panels work, we need to know what the panel is made of. The solar panels are actually made of tiny units called photovoltaic cells (also called PV cells). These cells are linked up together inside a panel and form the unit that is installed at homes and office buildings. The PV cells are responsible for converting the light energy from sunrays to electrical energy that flows out of the panel. Let’s have a tryst with physics to better understand how solar panels work.
The physics behind the action
The solar cells are basically made out of a sandwich between two fine slices of semiconductor material. The material is usually made of silicon. The wafers or the slices are doped to have electrons or positive carriers in unequal proportions to allow the electric field to build up.
An electric field is supposed to be established to the cells for the electric power to be generated. The silicon wafers are doped with other ingredients that give the slices a negative or positive charge. This difference in the charges in the wafers lead to the build up of an electric field. The junction of the two slices have an electric field which aids the flow of positive carriers and electrons across the wafers. Once electrons start to flow, we know that the electric current will flow in the opposite direction. This electric field manifests itself in the form of electric power that we see in our homes.
The electrons are received by the metal plates on the end of the slices. The electrons thus get transferred to the wires that bring electricity to our appliances. And this is how solar panels work in reality.
Benefits of solar power
The solar power can be a huge boon for all of us in a variety of ways.
- The dependency over supply of electricity from the government will be eliminated.
- Moreover, the rural areas which are still not electrified, can get an assurance of electric power at their homes.
- The solar power can also help utilize the solar energy that goes waste otherwise and can help in saving the environment from the thermal power plants.
- The solar power systems are durable and the investment made gives good returns when implemented on a realistic scale.
This is how solar panels work and can be of benefit for you.