Solar Panel Technology: It’s no secret that solar power is one of the most abundant and sustainable sources of energy available. The amount of energy generated by an hour of sunshine is more than enough to meet the world’s energy needs for an entire year.
It’s not uncommon these days for solar panels to power road signs, businesses, and even some spacecraft. Are you curious about the science of solar energy? Read on to learn more about the new solar panel technology and how it works!
How does Sunlight Become Energy?
The detailed science behind solar power and light waves can get pretty complicated, but the basics are pretty straightforward. It all starts with the sun. The sun is in a constant state of nuclear fusion, which means it is constantly releasing energy.
The energy released by the sun reaches the earth in the form of light and heat particles. These strong, high-energy particles call photons. Photons from sunlight can be “captured” to generate electricity using solar panels.
How do Solar Panels Work?
At the heart of solar panels, technology an innovation call a photovoltaic solar cell. The New York inventor Charles Fritts invented the first solar cell when he coated selenium with a layer of gold. The selenium in solar cells was later to be replaced by silicon, but both metals act as conductors.
When photons of sunlight heat a solar cell, electrons release. When in the presence of a conductor like selenium or silicon, these released electrons create an electric current.
Like a battery, the conductors of photovoltaic solar cells have positive and negative layers. This method of generating electricity is the photoelectric effect. The term photovoltaic sometimes use in place of photoelectric, but they mean the same thing.
The technology behind the solar panels used today is very similar to these early concepts. Photovoltaic solar modules have many silicon-based solar cells. The more solar panels you have installed, the more electricity they generate.
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What happens to the Electricity?
The electricity produced by solar PV modules is direct current (DC). This means that electrons flow in one direction as if they were on a one-way street.
The power grid and generators in the United States both use alternating currents (AC). The tricky part consists of supplying the direct current electricity network of the solar panels. Solar inverters are a device in solar panel technology that solves this problem.
Solar inverters take direct current from many solar panels (called solar panels) and convert it to alternating current. This new alternating current is now compatible with the electrical network. The excess energy is fed back into the grid and used elsewhere, stored for later or returned to you free of charge.
The ability to generate and store electricity is just one of the many benefits of the solar system. As solar panel technology continues to improve, it gets better.
Daylight is burning
Solar energy is clean, efficient, and can even lower your electricity bills. It’s easy to see why so many homeowners and businesses are choosing solar power. New solar panel technology has come a long way since the late 19th century and will still be around for some time.
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