Solar Panel How Does It Work
Considering the ever increasing popularity and accessibility of, it has become important to know and understand how a works. Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells that convert solar energy into electrical energy. The conversion of the energy from sunlight to electricity is not a simple phenomenon as it might appear. It involves a number of equipment, processes, and changes. Following is a detailed step by step account of the working of a solar panel and an elaboration of the mechanism involved in the conversion of one form of energy to the other.
Step 1: Activation of Panel by Sunlight
Each solar panel is made up of a layer of silicone cells, a glass case, a metal frame, and wiring. The photovoltaic cells or the solar cells of the plate actively absorb sunlight during daylight hours.
Step 2: Production of Electric Current by the Solar Cells
Each solar cell has a thin semiconductor wafer which is made from two layers of silicon. These two layers are oppositely charged, i.e., one layer has a positive charge and the other one has a negative charge, and these layers produce an electric field. When sunlight strikes a photovoltaic cell, it energises the cell and causes electrons from the atoms within the semiconductor wafer to come loose. The electric field surrounding the wafer sets these electrons in motion. This motion is responsible for creating an electric current.
Step 3: Conversion of Electrical Energy
Photovoltaic cells convert solar energy to electrical energy, but this electrical energy is in the form of direct current or DC, whereas the energy you need at your disposal for residential or commercial purposes should be in the form of alternating current or AC. However, the direct current can be converted to alternating current by using an inverter. These inverters can be of different sizes and types.
Step 4: Utilising the Power Output of a Solar Panel
When the electric energy is converted from DC to AC, it runs through the electric panel. This panel distributes the energy within the house or commercial unit to power the appliances. It works similar to the traditional power supply generated through the grid by the electric power companies.
Step 5: Measuring Usage by a Meter
Finally, a meter is used to measure the flow of current to and from your home. This helps in keeping a check on the amount of power being generated by the solar panels in a day or during different times in one day.
A solar panel works on the principle of conversion of energy from one form to another. It takes solar energy and converts it to electrical energy. The additional equipment used with the panel then transforms the DC generated by the panel to more accessible AC, thus completing the process.