May 12, 2016

Understanding How Solar Works

Solar Energy

Table of Contents:

How do solar panels work?

While most know that solar energy is a clean option for generating power, very few actually know how solar works.

Layers of Cells

To collect the energy that the sun provides, solar panels utilize photovoltaic cells that act as photosensitive diodes. These diodes are capable of instantaneously converting light into electricity. The top silicon layer, which is diffused with phosphorus, carries free electrons while a thicker boron doped bottom layer moves freely, ultimately creating an electronic imbalance between the layers. Photons from the sun then bombard and penetrate the cell, activating the electrons and knocking them loose in the silicon layers. Some of the electrons in the bottom layer slingshot to the top and then flow into metal contacts as electricity. Those electrons that flow back into the cell create a closed loop or circuit.

solar panels consist of groups of solar cells

Powering Your Home

To power your home, the current leaves the solar panel module and then passes through a wire conduit, which then leads to an inverter. Shaped like a waffle iron, the inverter inverts the direct current flows with a fixed voltage and current into alternating current. This then flows with an oscillating current and voltage. The solar-generated power then feeds into your household’s circuitry or into an electrical grid. An independent power system can also form a self-contained circuit without needing to connect to the grid. An off-grid system, on the other hand, needs batteries in order to store power for times when the module cannot capture enough energy from the sun.

Is solar a good fit for your home?

Find out now!

If you are considering going solar, the first step is to get a solar savings report to determine if solar is right for you and your home. Click the button below to get your solar savings report now!

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Nick Gorden

Nick Gorden is the Co-founder and CEO of Shine Solar. Nick’s energy, enthusiasm, and leadership is contagious and has contributed to attracting a talented and successful executive team. His time is focused on strategic growth, maintaining profitability and creating the optimal customer experience. Nick has started, managed and sold companies within the communications, mortgage lending, insurance and real estate industries resulting in tens of millions of dollars of market value to investors.

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