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How do Solar Panels Work?

power efficiency - How do Solar Panels Work

We all hear about solar energy and solar panels but many people don’t know how solar panels actually work. In this article, you will learn how solar panels work and how they can help you save energy in your home.

Today, we are concerned about protecting our environment. One way you can do this is to reduce your energy consumption. There are many things you can do to reduce your energy consumption and one of the more popular ways today is to install solar panels. Do you know how solar panels actually work? When we use solar panels we are harnessing the power of the sun to power our electricity needs. Solar panels are popular because they can add up to energy savings over time and they are better for the environment. Many countries are adopting solar panels and they are being used in business as well as at home.

Understanding Solar Panels

Our sun is basically a giant nuclear reactor. The sun sends out protons which are small particles of energy that hit the earth. A solar panel that is hit by a proton will knock the electrons loose from the atoms in that proton. The solar panel and then forms an electrical circuit. When the electrons flow through the circuit of a solar panel they will generate electricity. There are many cells that make up a solar panel and there are multiple panels called modules which are in the solar panel. These are all wired together and we call this a solar array. The more solar panels that you have deployed the more energy you were able to generate with the solar panel. All you need to know is that the solar panel is collecting energy from the sun and turning it is energy into electricity and power.

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What They Are Made of

Solar panels go by the technical name PV or photovoltaic panels. These panels are made up of many solar cells. The solar cells themselves are made out of silicon much like semiconductors are. These cells are made with a negative layer as well as a positive layer and when they have formed it together they will create an electric field the same way that a regular battery does.  The solar panel will then generate a direct current or DC electricity. The electrons will flow in one direction around the solar panel circuit.

Solar Inverter

A solar panel will also have a solar inverter and this will take the DC electricity that is created from the solar array and is used to create AC electricity. The inverter is basically the brain of the solar panel system. It inverts the DC power to AC power and provides a ground fault protection as well as system stats for the solar panel array. It will include the AC and DC circuit’s as well as the voltage. it will also provide the maximum power point tracking and energy production of the solar panel  This inverter helps you understand what is going on with your solar panel system.

In the beginning, we used to use central inverters but we now use micro inverters as this has been a large technological shift in the solar panel industry. A micro inverter is optimized for each one of your solar panels and not the entire solar panel system like a central inverter. When you have a micro inverter this enables each solar panel to operate at its maximum potential. When you use a central inverter you might have a problem with one solar panel and this problem can drag down the performance of all of your solar panels. The micro inverter eliminate this problem as each solar panel can be optimized and they will all provide the maximum performance. If one solar panel is not functioning correctly the other ones will still function and the one that is not operating at its peak performance can be repaired.

Sample Solar Panel Setup

If you install a solar panel set up in your home it works in this way. The sunlight will hit the solar panel on the roof or another area where you have the solar panels installed. The panels will take the energy from the sun and they convert this energy to a DC current. This current will then flow into your inverter. The inverter then takes the electricity and converts it from DC form to AC form. This energy is now available to power your home. The energy is clean, simple and very efficient. In some cases, you can sell excess energy back to the grid.

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Summary

Solar panels are a very efficient way to reduce the amount of energy that you use. A solar panel system may cost more to set up but in the long run, you’re going to be saving more money. You will need to talk to a solar panel expert as they can help you determine the best panels for your current needs and provide advice as to how to set up these systems in the most effective way.

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