How do Solar Panels Work

Solar power has been the pioneer of the “clean energy” movement that the world has seen over the last several decades. With the earth’s resources dwindling and with its need to create a more sustainable environment, solar power is one of the most viable and potential power sources to ever be conceived of (with the exception of Tony Starks Arc Reactor Technology)

Over the years Solar Power has undergone many changes in shape and size making solar power one of the cheapest and best ways to power a home (in conjunction with normal power supply and storage cells of course). The industry has blossomed and continues to grow through the new millennium to become one of the most dominant sources of clean self-replenishing energy the world over.

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There are other forms of solar powered technology, including solar thermal power (STP) and concentrated solar power (CSP) — which function in a different way than the photovoltaic solar panel technology, but nonetheless, all of them attempt to harness the power of the suns light to either create electricity or to heat water or air.

Each photovoltaic cell is basically a sandwich made up of two slices of semi-conducting material, usually silicon — the same stuff used in microelectronics.

To work, photovoltaic cells need to establish an electric field. Much like a magnetic field, which occurs due to opposite poles, an electric field occurs when opposite charges are separated. To get this field, manufacturers “dope” silicon with other materials, giving each slice of the sandwich a positive or negative electrical charge.

Specifically, they seed phosphorous into the top layer of silicon, which adds extra electrons, with a negative charge, to that layer. Meanwhile, the bottom layer gets a dose of boron, which results in fewer electrons, or a positive charge. This all adds up to an electric field at the junction between the silicon layers. Then, when a photon of sunlight knocks an electron free, the electric field will push that electron out of the silicon junction.

A couple of other components of the cell turn these electrons into usable power. Metal conductive plates on the sides of the cell collect the electrons and transfer them to wires. At that point, the electrons can flow like any other source of electricity.

If you’ve ignored solar power for your home or property, it might be time to step up. Not only do solar panels decrease your overall electricity costs, it also increases the value of your property by a lot. If you want a better, safer and cleaner world for your children and others around you, it’s not only important – its imperative.