How Do Solar Panels Work and Why You Should Care
By John Warner
Solar panels are made out of a number of components which work together in a complicated manner to alter the sun's heat and energy into usable, renewable electricity. But how do solar panels work?
This is a basic question that requires scientific knowledge and extensive research. Experts have allotted a great deal of resources to tackle the issues involved in energy conversion. The technology behind solar panels is continuously improving since many institutions around the world are heavily invested in this technology.
People around the world are relying on the sun, since this is a practical source of energy and can be established anywhere. The only crucial requirement to maximize the panel's capability is visibility and exposure to the sun.
The process by which solar panels work is a very broad and complicated conversion of different energy sources into a usable energy. The question can best be answered through several simple steps that contain all the scientific processes involved.
Basically the components and material used to create solar panels include semiconductor plates, a photovoltaic cell, batteries, and electrical wires.
The heart and soul of the unit is the photovoltaic cell. It is the component which absorbs electronic molecules from the sunlight, allowing it to be utilized and stored as electricity.
- The first step in the process begins when the sunlight comes into contact with the photovoltaic cell. This cell basically dissects sunlight into its basic components. These are the protons, electrons and neutrons. The photovoltaic cell absorbs only the electrons since they are the ones needed to generate and store electricity.
- The second step is the transport of electrons to the conductor wires. The semiconductor plates are the materials which filter the electrons and transport them to the conductor wires. This is a very rapid process.
- The third step is the passing through of electrons into the conductor wires. Wires with lengths as long as several hundred yards are used, since the continuous process of electron extraction requires several channels to transport them. At this phase, the concentrated amount of electrons is considered as raw electricity and can power several electronic devices at this stage.
- The fourth step is distributing the electrons through the energy converter, which actually filters out the other unwanted molecules to avoid power disruption. This is very important to guarantee that the content stored would be pure electrons.
- The final step that answers the question of how do solar panels work is the storage of the gathered electrons in the battery. By this time, the batteries contain the electricity, which can power any electronic device. The batteries are connected to a bigger battery or power source to have a collective measure of the amount of electricity produced.
Since the sun's rays shine nearly every place in the world, it can be set up virtually anywhere. Millions of dollars are saved yearly by people relying on solar panels.
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