How is solar energy produced?
How is solar energy produced?
Solar panels harness the energy of sunlight to generate usable electricity. Solar cells at the highest level of absorption absorb sunlight, and then generate electricity by using the “photovoltaic phenomenon”. The electricity generated is stored by plates and wires which convert it into usable energy which can be used to power your home or appliances. We’ll explain how solar panels generate renewable energy sources for your home in this article.
What is solar energy?
Photons reach the solar cells of your body, and create an electric current. They come via the sun. The sun’s continual nuclear fusion reactions generate solar energy. The process of nuclear fusion in the sun is based on protonswhich look basically identical to hydrogen Atoms that collide and fuse with extreme temperatures and pressure in order to produce Helium. This process generates a great deal of energy, plus more protons, and is constant in the sun’s core, which is where it produces over 500 million tons per moment from hydrogen atoms.
What’s the outcome? The result? EMR is available in a variety of varieties. The sun emits all kinds of EMR and they are transported to earth’s surface in the forms of photons.
How solar panels work: The science behind solar cells and the photovoltaic effect
Solar panels generate electricity by emitting photons or particles of sunlight that knock electrons from the atoms. The electron flow is known as electricity. Solar panels capture it and transform it into usable electric current. This is known as the photovoltaic process, and it is the fundamental physical and chemical process that underlies most of the solar radiation or solar energy technologies.
Explaining the photovoltaic effect
Photovoltaic effects are essential to electricity generation with solar panels. The photovoltaic effect was initially observed in Edmond Becquerel in 1839. It is a property found in certain types of materials (known as semiconductors) that allow them to generate an electrical current when exposed to sunlight.
These are the steps which make up the photovoltaic effect:
- The sunlight strikes solar cells, activating electrons and setting them in motion.
- The junction between cell layers is where electrons flow, creating an electric current.
- Metal plates and wires absorb electrons and create electricity.
Solar cells are the parts which make up a panel of solar electricity. The element silicon (atomic #14 of the periodic table) is the most common material used to make solar cells. Silicon, a non-metal semiconductor, is able to absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. It is also used in nearly every computer on the planet. There are a variety of semiconductors which can be used in solar cells.
However, silicon is the most popular, being utilized in 95% of all solar cells that are currently produced. Two primary semiconductors are used in thin-film solar panels production the copper indium gallium diselenide as well as Cadmium-telluride.
Photovoltaic cells are composed by two different layers of silicon. Each layer is “doped” to form an electric grid on the junction. The electric field triggers electrons to flow out from the junction into the solar cell, creating an electrical power. To create the positive and/or opposite sides to a photovoltaic device the phosphorus and boron are commonly used as doping agents.
The plates of metal at the end of each solar cell capture the electrons emitted by the electric field and later transfer them to connecting wires. The electrons are flowing as electricity through the wiring of a solar inverter, and then throughout your house.
Alternatives to the silicon solar cell
Although silicon is the most widely used semiconductor in solar panels worldwide, there are other options available in new and emerging solar products.
Thin-film solar cells fall into an umbrella term for solar cells made of flexible and light materials. Silicon (aSi), Cadmium Sulfide, Indium Gallium Selenide CIGS, as well as Gallium Arsenide are four of the main kinds of slim solar cell chemical compounds. The layers that absorb light are 350 orders of magnitude less than silicon cells. They’re often referred to by the term “thin-film.”
Organic solar cells, a form of solar panel made from thin film made of carbon-based materials create a semiconductor, are an entirely different kind. Organic photovoltaics are often described as “plastic solar cells” or “polymer sun cells”. They are created by dissolving organic chemicals into ink and printing them onto thin plastics.
Perovskite solar cell is a third type of thin-film solar cell made of perovskites. This class of man-made materials features a unique crystallographic design which makes them extremely efficient at converting light photons into usable energy. Perovskite solar cells are made using “solution processing” similar to the process used to print newspapers.
Other essential solar panel parts
Apart from those solar cells the majority of solar modules also include other components essential to the system:
The panel’s glass casing provides protection and durability for the silicon PV cell. Solar panels are protected from heat loss and humidity by having an insulation layer beneath the glass. Insulation is essential. It is because temperature rises can result in a decrease in efficiency, which can result in lower performance of the panel. The anti-reflective coating on solar PV increases the absorption of sunlight and permits maximum sunlight exposure.
There are two kinds of silicon solar cells either monocrystalline or polycrystalline. Monocrystalline cells are made up of one silicon crystal, while polycrystalline cells contain fragments of silicon. Monocrystalline cells possess more electron mobility, and therefore are more efficient than polycrystalline cells. However, they are also more expensive.
How can solar panels produce electricity to power your home?
Here’s a step-by-step explanation The process of generating electricity is the first stage of operation for solar panels but it’s not the only thing that happens. It’s how solar panel can generate electricity that is usable to power your home:
1. Photovoltaic cells harness sun's energy, then convert it into DC electricity.
The solar cells within each solar panel produce electricity by doing the heavy lifting as described in the previous paragraph. Your solar panels create electric current by using this process called photovoltaic.
2. The solar inverters transform DC electricity generated by solar panels into AC electricity that is used by most household appliances.
When DC power flows through the solar converter, it is converted into AC electricity. You can also equip the inverter you have purchased with transformers that control how much voltage is generated by AC or DC power.
3. Electricity is the power source for your house.
The AC energy produced by solar inverters is transferred to your home’s electric energy box. The power is then distributed throughout your home to all outlets to ensure that any device that plugs into it can make use of it.
4. The grid feeds excess solar energy generated by solar panels.
Grid-tied solar systems are connected to the grid so electricity can flow both to and from them. This allows to use the excess energy generated by your panels to bring you cash. Net metering is a policy that allows you to receive credits through the power grid when you send electricity back. This can make electricity cheaper. Learn more about net meters.
What about other solar technologies other than photovoltaics?
The photovoltaic system (or PV) is the most well-known type of solar energy generation. It’s especially useful for businesses and homes. There are many other options, and they work differently to traditional photovoltaic panels. Solar hot water and concentrated solar power are among the sought-after alternative solar options. They function in a different method to PV panels.
Solar hot water
Solar hot water systems harness the energy of the sun to heat your home. The system is made up of several components: a collector, a storage tank and heat exchanger. A controller system is also included.
There isn’t any moving electrons in the solar hot-water system. Instead, the panels convert sunlight into heat. The panels that convert sunlight into heat are called “collectors” which are generally installed on a roof. They capture solar energy in a different manner unlike traditional photovoltaic cells. They don’t produce electricity, they produce heat. The sun’s light hits the collector’s glass cover and hits the absorber plates. The coating is designed to capture and convert sunlight radiation into energy. The heat energy generated is then transferred to an “transfer liquid” (either potable or antifreeze) within small pipes that are placed on the plate.
Concentrated solar power
Concentrated solar power, also known as concentrating sun power or concentrating-solar-thermal power. Solar Power works in a similar manner as solar hot water, in that it converts sunlight into heat. CSP, also known as solar technology, uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight’s thermal energy to create electric. CSP installations make use of mirrors to reflect sunlight into a central. A receiver or absorber collects the heat and store it around this focal point.
The majority of the time, CSP is utilized in utility-scale facilities in order to power an electricity grid.
Solar panels can offer substantial savings
It is possible to save on electricity by getting quotes from solar panels. The LA Solar Group team is ready assist. Register for a free account via the Marketplace of LA Solar Group and we’ll supply you with a customized quote from local solar installers panels. LA Solar Group is ready to assist you in starting your journey to clean energy.