How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels harness the sun’s rays to generate electricity. They are a popular renewable energy solution that could help our communities move away from nonrenewable resources like coal. But how do they work?
During a solar panel’s lifecycle, its efficiency and output decline gradually. This can be mitigated through proper installation, regular cleaning and inspection, and the use of appropriate system sizing and design. Solar energy is a clean, renewable resource that doesn’t produce harmful greenhouse gases. URL topsolarpanelsireland.com
The simplest solar systems use photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electric current. A photovoltaic cell consists of semiconductor material that absorbs and converts photons into electricity by the photoelectric effect. The semiconductor material is specially treated to make it more receptive to electrons that are dislodged by sunlight. These electrons are what produces the electrical power that can run calculators, wrist watches, and much more.
A typical PV module consists of 36 interconnected solar cells laminated to glass within an aluminum frame. Each solar cell generates only a few watts of electricity, so multiple cells are combined in series to boost voltage and in parallel to increase current capability.
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Solar modules can be grouped together to create PV arrays that can match most electrical loads, with the aid of an inverter. They can also be combined into larger systems to provide power for remote applications such as telecommunications, oil and gas flow monitoring, RTU, or SCADA. The DC electricity produced by a PV array can be fed directly into the power grid, or stored in batteries for off-grid usage. The latter allows solar-generated electricity to offset a homeowner’s or business’s utility bills, and reduces reliance on nonrenewable resources.