How do solar panels work?



Sun2u is passionate about using the natural power of the sun to reduce energy costs.

We all know solar panels harness the power of the sun by turning it into electricity…. But how does this process actually happen?

The building blocks of a solar panel are solar cells. Solar cells (once called solar batteries) are tiny devices that convert light into energy via the photovoltaic effect. This phenomenon is both a physical and chemical process. Alone, solar cells only provide a small amount of power. However, larger amounts connected together form a solar panel, which can produce a significant amount of power Approximately 60 of these cells comprise the matrix of your average solar panel.

How, exactly, does this photovoltaic effect work, in layman’s terms?

Within a solar cell, there are atoms which are surrounded by electrons. When the sunlight hits the top layer of the solar cell, it creates movement which dislodges the electrons, leaving a hole. Once a hole is created, another electron will move to fill the hole, then you have movement among the electrons.

In essence, electricity is the flow of electrons around a closed circuit. The sunlight is causing the movement of electrons from top to the bottom within the closed circuit, which is required to produce electricity. Voila.

How was this all uncovered, you might ask? Who was the genius that realised the sun could create electricity? History places Edmund Bequerel at that scene, in France circa 1839. He was a physicist, and discovered that certain materials after exposure to light, would create a small electric current. Solar panels as we know them now would not eventuate until sometime in the 1960s, and even then, were not for retail use, but Edmund Bequerel’s discovery got the ball rolling.

Modern day rising electrical costs have made residential (and commercial) solar panels hot property, excuse the pun. Not to mention the fact that using natural energy reduces our carbon footprint and will help to preserve our beautiful planet. If you’re environmentally conscious and looking to save money on your next electricity bill, we invite you to call Sun2u to learn more about harnessing the power of the sun. We encourage you to take advantage of our stay on the grid and save promotion, and start the process of becoming more energy efficient by calling for your FREE quote today on 0240 040 505.