The Science of Solar: How Does It Work?

Solar energy is becoming one of the top resources for electricity today. Most people understand that the sun is the source of energy that powers solar panels, therefore providing electricity to residential and commercial properties, but the science behind solar energy is magnificent. Today, we’re going to simplify the science of solar and help you understand exactly how panels harness the power of the sun to create electricity.

Science Refresher

We’re going to take it back to science class! To jog your memory, here’s a quick refresher. Protons, electrons, and neutrons all make up an atom. Protons have positive energy, electrons have negative energy, and neutrons have neutral energy. Photons are the fundamental particle of light. They are unique because they are both a particle and a wave. Photons are basis of the electromagnetic field and are attracted to weak charges. Keep this in mind as we go forward with the science of solar.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels are made from Photovoltaic cells (also known as PV cells) that convert the energy from the sun into electricity.  These cells are made with “semiconductor” materials, the most common being silicon. When it is exposed to sunlight, it absorbs the energy from photons and transfers it to electrons. This extra energy boosts the electrons and creates an electrical current. This is called The Photoelectric Effect. The electrical current then moves through an inverter which changes it into an alternating current that is able to be sent to the Grid or to power residential and commercial properties.

Conclusion: Solar Power is Awesome! 

Solar power is obviously a great choice for helping reduce your carbon footprint and save the environment, but it also saves your wallet a great amount too. Solar panels have an average lifespan of 25 years and are able to naturally convert the sun’s energy to electricity! This means that you aren’t paying the power company for their electricity, but you’re making your own. That’s awesome!  Hopefully, we were able to simplify the complex, scientific terms and help solar make sense to you. If you have any further questions about how we can make solar work for you, we’d love to set up an appointment to discuss solar with you.