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How Does Solar Energy Work? A Brief Explanation

This 2022, solar power will account for almost half of the newest American electric generating capacity. But it doesn’t end there. In a few decades, solar energy will generate half of the world’s electric charge.

More solar systems are developing across the country to meet the rising demands. This renewable resource is the current most affordable energy available.

But how does solar energy work? Read to know more about solar power, how it works, and how your homes can enjoy it.

How Does Solar Energy Work

With the help of modern technology, people can use solar energy in several ways. Some of the most popular methods you can do to it are the following.

  • Photovoltaics
  • Solar thermal
  • Solar power concentration

Depending on what method you plan to use, you can get solar energy to work for your benefit. Photovoltaics is the most popular solar energy form many knows. All solar panels capture this solar energy to convert them into electricity.

For solar thermal, you capture solar energy to heat and cool spaces. It works the same way as using the captured energy for electricity. But it focuses on reducing your dependence on other energy sources to heat and cool your home.

Solar power concentration also depends on solar thermal energy. People use mirrors to reflect and concentrate solar energy. After that, you can store the solar energy for later use.

The ways of capturing solar energy are different, but it still works the same way. The particles of solar power you need for generating electricity is the photon. A photon travels from the sun to the Earth in about eight minutes.

How does that solar energy work? You have solar panels for that.

Solar panels are the best way to harvest these particles for electricity production. Using these panels starts the photovoltaic effect.

Solar panels are capable of converting photons into electrons. To use solar energy, the solar panel harvests sunlight. It then changes them into electric currents.

After conversion, solar energy is now alternative electricity for homes and local businesses.

Solar Panels and How They Convert Solar Energy

Solar panels are sheets of silicon solar cells. Most panels nowadays use silicon since they can produce electricity. Once the sunlight hits the panels, photons interact with the silicon atoms.

This reaction releases the electrons and is often called the photovoltaic effect. Solar cells both have a positive and negative silicon sheet put together.

Each silicon sandwich slices have top layers that produce negative charges. The bottom layers hold the positive ones. Because of that, it creates a space for atoms to flow.

When photons reach the panels, it bumps the electrons, and they move towards the top layer. Once it happens, they generate electric current.

The metal plates of the solar cell then collect the current and transfer them. It allows homes to consume the produced electricity for their needs.

It also needs a place where the electricity can flow. The current that solar panels produce is DC. Due to that, you need to convert them to AC for your home to use it.

Once you finish the DC to AC conversion, you can enter it into a grid-tied system. This type of system gets most of its energy needs from the panels during the daytime.

The size of your system can determine the amount of solar power you produce. The extra energy becomes surplus electricity that sends back to the grid. At night, the consumers can use this backup energy for their homes.

Solar System Components

Most people think that solar power only uses panels for electricity conversion. Because of that, many of them doubt the expensive system costs from companies. While solar home panels are crucial parts of the solar power system, they only cost 30% of your entire bill.

To harness this renewable resource, you need more than solar panels. Here are the components of a solar system you need to know.

  • Solar panels
  • Inverters
  • Racking and monitoring systems
  • Performance monitoring systems

Solar panels have two formats that you can choose for your system. These are monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells.

Monocrystalline cells are one solid panel of silicon crystals. It allows more space for electron flow. It also provides smaller but more efficient home panels.

Polycrystalline cells are individual shards of silicon melted together. While these panels are less efficient, they cost less.

Inverters help convert the alternate current before putting them in an electrical grid. Depending on the inverter, you can have batteries alongside or move them into a utility.

The mounting systems secure your panels in place. They also provide the best position for sun exposure.

The performance monitoring systems give you a look at the system’s daily performance. These are dashboards with accessible information through the use of mobile apps.

The Benefits of Solar Energy

Installing a solar power system in your home allows you many advantages. Solar energy pros range from individual benefits to economic gains.

Solar energy users only account for a small percentage of the US population. But knowing these advantages may interest you to use one for your home.

Solar power reduces your carbon footprint. It has the least negative environmental impact among all types of energy sources.

Solar panels need little water for cleaning and maintenance. Not only that, but they also produce zero noise which is best for residential and urban areas.

Apart from that, solar panel installations can also lower your energy utility bills. Instead of relying on utility suppliers, you produce your electricity. You can also profit from selling unused electricity generated by your panels.

Unlike other renewables, you can use solar energy at any place with sunshine. Because of that, remote locations can have an electricity source.

How Does Solar Energy Work: All You Need to Know

Solar energy is becoming one of the in-demand sources of alternate energy worldwide. But the increasing number of solar power homes and businesses come with doubts. One of these concerns is how it works.

This guide gave you highlights on how does solar energy work. Moreover, it also provides information on the benefits of solar power systems. These things will help clear and clarify all your pressing issues on solar power.

Did you find this article relevant? Continue reading our other blog posts to discover other content like this today.

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