Understanding How Solar Panels Work

Understanding How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels are a revolutionary technology that works to generate electricity from the sun’s energy. It has been around for many years, however has gained popularity over the past decade. Essentially, they are arrays of photovoltaic cells that convert solar energy into an electrical current. These photovoltaic cells work by trapping sunlight using semiconducting materials like silicon; when the light is trapped, the electrons in the semiconductor material become excited and vibrate and thus create direct current (DC) electricity. This DC electricity then undergoes an additional step called inverting, which converts it into alternating current (AC) so that it can be used in your home or business. Once installed, solar panels require very little maintenance and can provide clean, renewable energy for decades! Not only are they good for the environment and your electricity bill, but many countries offer subsidies to help bring down costs further. With these incentives and advances in technology, solar panels is already a cost-effective option for anyone looking to go green.


What are photovoltaic cells?

Photovoltaic cells is actually another way of saying solar panels and these are a type of electrical device that converts sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic cells consist of many thin layers of a semiconductor material, usually silicon, which is responsible for harvesting light and creating electricity. The cells are then grouped together in panels, which can be mounted on roofs or walls in order to get the most out of each ray of sunlight. The benefit of photovoltaic cells is that they produce no harmful emissions, unlike fossil fuels, making them a great source of clean energy that can either supplement or even replace conventional sources in some cases. They’re also simple to maintain and can last for decades with minimal attention or upkeep required. Furthermore, photovoltaic cells provide free electricity for anyone who has them installed, so once you’ve paid for the installation you won’t have to worry about any further bills. All these factors make photovoltaic cells or solar panels, one incredibly attractive alternative energy solution.


What is a solar inverter?

A solar inverter is a key device in the process of capturing and utilizing the energy from the sun. All solar panels have one, and they are described as the brains of a home or business’s solar system. A solar inverter essentially takes the energy generated by the solar panel, converts it into usable alternating current (AC) electricity, and then sends it to either be used right away or powered into a utility grid. It also monitors your solar system to make sure everything is working correctly, and keeps track of the data collected over time to help you understand how your system is performing. In addition, modern solar inverters come with many features to help maximize their efficiency, such as power factor correction that allows them to extract power quicker; coordinated search algorithms that optimize energy output during variable weather/light conditions; and better insulation systems for improved safety when dealing with high voltage inputs. All in all, a solar inverter is an invaluable piece of equipment for any home or business wishing to take full advantage of renewable energy sources.


Are batteries needed for my solar panels?

You’ve decided to go solar and you’re ready to invest in a system that fits your home, but you’re not sure if you need batteries or not. Generally speaking, batteries are an optional addition to any solar PV system. While they can increase the efficiency of your system and extend its reach, whether or not you need them depends on the type of energy use you have in mind for your solar installation. If you’d like to be able to store energy for later use when the sun isn’t shining, then adding batteries is a must. On the other hand, some locals opt for a “grid-tied” system which ties directly into their power grid. This allows them to use grid-supplied energy when the sun’s not available, but doesn’t require any extra hardware investment beyond what’s already necessary for the panel setup – though unused energy can’t be stored up in such a scenario. Ultimately, it’s important to research all of your options and decide what makes sense based on your own needs and budget.

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding into the basics of what solar panels are and how they work. As one of the most cost effective and clean forms of energy we have, solar power is vital for both our rising energy needs and the global need to drastically reduce our emissions. There are a myriad of additional benefits which we’ll explore for you in a future article, so follow along for more solar education! As always, if you have any questions be sure to reach out to one of our qualified professionals at CMI Group Inc to get the answers you need.