Simply stated, a solar panel operates by having photons, or light rays, smash atom-free electrons, creating an electricity surge. Also, solar panels consist of several smaller modules, called photovoltaic cells. (Photovoltaic literally means that sunlight is transformed into electricity.) Several cells joined together to form a solar panel.
Basically, each photovoltaic cell is a sandwich made up of two slices of semi-conductive material, typically silicon— the same stuff used in microelectronics. Delicious.
Photovoltaic cells need an electric field to be formed to operate. Much as a magnetic field that exists because of opposite poles, as opposing charges are separated, an electric field exists. To get this area, manufacturers “dope” silicone with other ingredients, giving a positive or negative electrical charge to each slice of the sandwich.
In specific, they seed phosphorous into the top layer of silicon, which adds extra electrons to that layer with a negative charge. The bottom layer, meanwhile, receives a dose of boron, resulting in fewer particles or a positive charge. All of this adds up to an electric field at the junction of layers of silicone. When a photon of sunlight shakes an electron loose, the electron is forced out of the silicon junction by the electric field.
A few other cell components transform those electrons into usable electricity. Metal conductive plates absorb the particles on the sides of the cell and pass them to wires. The electrons will move at that point, much like every other type of electricity.
Scientists have recently developed ultra-thin, transparent solar cells that are twenty times lighter than a sheet of office paper. The cells are so small that they can sit on top of a soap bubble, and they generate energy with almost as much efficiency as glass-based solar cells. In construction, aerospace technologies, or even portable electronics, smaller, more compact solar cells such as these may be integrated.
Certain types of solar power technology— including solar thermal and concentrated solar power (CSP)—are working differently than photovoltaic solar panels, but they both harness the strength of sunlight to either produce electricity or heat water or air.
Current events and unforeseen circumstances may force us to propose a solar quote remotely for the next few months. In the era of social distancing, we think this approach is easier on both the service providers and the consumer.
In this webinar, we will discuss the incentives and benefits of going solar, hedging against economic inflation, the best hardware on the market, and performing a live quote to see how the panels would look on your home and test the efficiency.
Join this webinar to gain insights from experts, and learn all about solar!
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