As the modern world continues to go green, solar energy is becoming more and more important. What was once considered something of a gimmick is now an established and reliable form of power.
But while most people know what solar energy is, they may not know how it works. It produces power from sunlight, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Understanding the science of how it works may help people feel more comfortable adopting this reliable and environmentally friendly source of power. Let’s take a look, to answer some of those questions.
How Does Solar Energy Work?
There are a few different types of solar energy, and they all work in slightly different ways. The three most common types are photovoltaics, solar heating and cooling, and concentrated solar power.
Photovoltaics are the only ones that actually generate the power directly from sunlight itself. The other two types utilize the thermal energy from the sun’s heat to generate their power.
Photovoltaics and heating/cooling devices are the ones most commonly found in homes and businesses. Concentrated solar power is primarily found at the industrial level. It’s the main technique used in solar power plants.
Now let’s look at how solar panels work. A solar cell is comprised of two layers of silicon, sandwiched between two layers of conductive metal. A glass sheet is placed on top to protect the interior.
Silicon is used because it is an effective semi-conductor. It can trap electrons and either conduct them or insulate them, depending on the need.
The silicon is modified into either boron or phosphorus. All you need to know about them is they are unstable, and allow electrons to freely flow between them. This is where the electricity generated by solar panels comes from.
The conductive metal is used to take that electricity and send it where it needs to go. Once the metal has collected it, it can be sent through wires and used as a source of power.
One final thing to note is that solar powers generate direct current, or DC, power. Most modern appliances use alternating current or AC power. The final part of a solar cell is a converter that turns the DC power into usable AC power.
Solar energy is a great source of power for homes and businesses alike. And with it becoming more popular, it’s easier than ever to find a good solar installation company to set you up with solar energy.
Use Solar as a Reliable Power Source
Solar energy is a reliable, environmentally friendly source of power. And as it grows in popularity, it is only becoming cheaper and more efficient.
Solar panels are a great way to power your home or business. Get in touch with a solar installer today and see for yourself.
Have any other business or lifestyle questions that need answering? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more great articles on anything you may need.