What are Solar Panels? How Do They Work?
If you are interested in making your home more energy efficient, there is one sure way to do so — use solar panels! Solar panels are notably one of the best ways to access ample amounts of energy in a clean, Earth-friendly way. Though solar panels can be an Earth-conscious way to receive energy, many people don’t know what they are or how they work.
In this blog, we will be discussing how solar panels work and why they would be beneficial to your Southern California home. We hope by reading this blog, you will have a better understanding of solar panels and how they can be a smart way to access your energy, without harming the planet.
What are Solar Panels?
Solar panels are large panels that link together and gather sunlight and convert it into electricity. You will typically see this type of energy tool on the tops of houses, in fields, or anywhere where large amounts of sunlight can be accessed. In Southern California, it may come as no surprise as to why solar panels can be advantageous. California sees a lot of sunlight throughout the year, which makes this location a perfect candidate for solar panels. By having access to large amounts of uninterrupted sunlight, the panels are much more likely to gather an excess amount of energy for you to use.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
For those that are curious, solar panels work by allowing photons, or particles of the sun’s light, to remove electrons free from atoms. This action of removing electrons creates a steady flow of electricity that can be used to power your appliances, lights, and even your car. Solar panels actually comprise of many small units that work together to harvest photons from light beams. These units, or photovoltaic cells, are the main way sunlight can be converted into electricity on a large scale. Of course, there are a lot of cells necessary to create one panel. And even then, you will need multiple panels in order to power your home.
What are the Panels Made Of?
Each of the photovoltaic cells on a panel is made up of semiconducting material, typically silicon. In order to work properly, the cells need to establish an electric field to enable electron separation. Much like a magnetic field, an electric field must begin when two opposite charges separated. In order to create a personal magnetic field, the silicon must be stacked on top of each other and forced to maintain both positive and negative charges. With the stacks working to separate themselves, this causes a magnetic field strong enough to enable the panel to convert power.
You may wonder how it is possible to change the charge of individually stacked pieces of silicon? Well, this process is actually quite extensive, as each layer is either coated with either phosphorus (for negative charges) or boron (for positive charges).
How is Energy Harvested?
Because each solar panel has its own magnetic field, each has the ability to separate electrons and harvest energy. As stated, each panel contains multiple layers of positively and negatively charged silicon pieces. This process strengthens the magnetic field and “captures” electrons from atoms. When a photon of sunlight enters the panel, it knows an electron free from an atom. The electric field created by the layers of silicon then push the electron free and collect it to be used for energy.
Differences in Solar Panels
There are many different genres of solar panels. So, don’t worry if you think that this innovation is a one-size-fits-all sort of installation. There are ranging solar panels that differ in size, thickness, and even material. In fact, there are other types of solar power technology you can utilize that don’t use silicon panels to harvest energy. For instance, there are solar thermal panels and concentrated solar power panels (CSP). They operate in different ways, yet still concern sunlight into electricity, or to heat your water supply.
So Cal Conveyance: Solar Panel Installations
Though solar panels can be costly when first purchased, they have the capability to pay for themselves. Over time, you may harvest more energy than you actually use. Instead of letting that energy go to waste, you can always sell it back to large energy corporations.
And, solar panels are an extremely clean way to receive your energy. Instead of relying on big energy companies to provide energy to you, through less than ethical processes, you can create your own power. Solar panels offer homeowners a sense of independence and peace, especially when comforted by the fact that your energy was produced in an Earth-friendly way.
Contact So Cal Conveyance today if you are interested in installing solar panels on your rooftop. With our help, you could gain a “green home” that uses clean energy! Call today!