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How Solar Works

The amount of sunlight that reaches the surface of the earth in an hour and a half is sufficient to meet all of the world's energy needs for a complete year. Solar energy systems either use photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors to focus solar radiation to convert sunlight into electrical energy. This power can be converted into electricity, or it can be stored in batteries.

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What Is Solar Energy?

The most plentiful source of energy is solar energy, which may even be used under cloudy conditions. The rate at which the Earth absorbs solar energy is around 10,000 times higher than the rate at which people use energy.

For a wide range of applications, solar systems can provide heat, cooling, natural lighting, power, and fuels. Solar technologies can use photovoltaic panels or solar radiation-concentrating mirrors to turn sunlight into electrical energy.
Although not all nations have the same access to solar energy, direct solar energy can nevertheless make a major contribution to any nation's energy mix.

Solar panels are now not only accessible, but frequently the cheapest source of electricity because to a sharp decline in the cost of solar panel production over the past ten years. Solar panels come in a range of colors based on the type of material used in their manufacture and have an average lifespan of 30 years.

What Are Solar Panels Made Of?

Due to the solid, completely sealed nature of photovoltaic (PV) panels' construction, there is essentially no chance of a dangerous exposure to poisonous compounds. Under order to be entirely weather tight in all climatic circumstances, PV panels are frequently deployed in arctic and desert locations. The rear plate is usually permanently sealed on the back side to sandwich in the solar cells that are located between the glass and back plate. The top is normally made of tempered glass.

How Do Solar Panels Make Electricity?

1. Sunlight activates the panels

A layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass case encased in a specific coating, and wiring make up each individual panel. The panels are arranged in "arrays" (an ordered series) and put on rooftops or in sizable outdoor places for optimum impact. During daylight hours, the solar cells, which are also known as photovoltaic cells, absorb sunlight.

2. Electric current is produced 

A thin semiconductor wafer comprised of two layers of silicon is contained within each solar cell. An electric field is created when two layers are positively and negatively charged. A photovoltaic solar cell is energized by solar light energy, which also causes electrons to "come loose" from atoms within the semiconductor wafer. The electric field surrounding the wafer causes those unbound electrons to move, and this movement results in an electrical current.

3. The electrical energy is converted

You now have solar panels that efficiently convert sunshine into electricity, but the electricity they produce is referred to as direct current (or DC) electricity, not the alternating current (or AC) electricity that powers the majority of homes. Fortunately, a device called an inverter makes it simple to convert DC current into AC electricity. These inverters can be set up in contemporary solar systems as a single inverter for the entire system or as separate microinverters attached behind the panels.

4. The converted electricity powers your home

After being transformed from DC to AC electricity, the solar energy is dispersed throughout the house to power your appliances. Nothing inside the home needs to alter because it operates exactly the same as the electricity your electric utility provider generates through the grid. You can automatically draw additional electricity to make up for any solar power shortfalls from the grid because you are still connected to your traditional power provider.

5. Net meter usage measures

Your solar panels might not be able to collect enough sunlight to utilize for electricity on cloudy days or at night. On the other hand, during the day when no one is home, they might gather more energy than you need to run your house. For this reason, a meter is used to measure the amount of power moving both to and from your home. If you send any excess energy back to the grid, your utility company will frequently give you credits. It is referred to as net metering.

Knowing the fundamentals of solar energy allows you to marvel at how modern photovoltaic technology can harness the sun's immense power to run a home. It may not be rocket science, but it is unquestionably the height of human inventiveness.

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Since the PV panels are solid, sealed units, water cannot remove any chemicals from them (there are no liquids in solar panels). Additionally, PV panels have a very high melting point that is higher than most normal fires and the chemicals inside of them do not evaporate off. The solar cells in some PV panels are made of silicon. Numerous rocks, sands, and soils all contain silicon, which is a common substance. Small amounts of solder, which contains some lead, are used to join the wires of solar cells, but since the cell is enclosed within the panel, the solder cannot exit the panel.

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