How Do Solar Panels Work

ABEST1 How Do Solar Panels Work

Article by Serenity Langen

It is all the rage right now to have solar panels installed to heat water for your geyser or to heat the water in your pool, so how many people actually understand how the technology behind solar panels works? Not many I am sure. If you are one of these people and possess a hunger for knowledge, read on.

Solar panels make use of the power of the sun to cause a similar process as that in chemical batteries. This procedure is the free flow of electrons.

The standard element in solar panels is silicon. Silicon is a good platform for shifting electrons once it has been purified. Natural silicon atoms carry four electrons, but have place for a further four. The plates of solar panels are manufactured of this natural form of silicon. The plates have a neutral charge while they are on their own since each silicon atom requires eight electrons in total to have a charge. Consequently they have to be coupled with other elements that do possess a positive or negative charge.

For electricity to actually flow, you require both a positive and negative charge. Phosphorus is normally combined with the silicon to make the negative plate and boron to create the positive plate. The plates are thencoupled together with wires that happen to be great at conducting electric power to form one panel made from a positive plus a negative half.

The completed panels are placed at a certain angle (negative on the top) to trap the photons created by the sun’s rays. These photons introduce energy into the negative plate. Once adequate energy has been added, the extra electron which made the silicon-phosphorus combination negative breaks away from. The electron is drawn into the outer band of the silicon-boron combination. This process lets out the energy implanted by the photons and this energy is changed to electric power as soon as it is taken by the conductive wire connections between the plates.

Although an individual escaping electron does not generate much electricity, the shared effort of millions of them packed into the plate can power a small engine. However, the angle of the plate has to be just right or you will never get the most out of it, efficiency can be cut in half by just a minor change.

Solar panels tend not to produce much electricity, but any extra that there might be is often kept in a battery and retained for a rainy day (quite literally in this case). The larger sized the solar panels, the more energy they will produce. Technology is constantly improving and trying to make them more effective. At some point it may be possible to power up a racing car with a solar panel the size of an A4 piece of paper. Visualize having entire towns using the electricity provided by only a city block or two of solar panels as an alternative of demanding a roof layered in the panels for each household!

Solar panels furthermore save you a great deal of money on power bills and will make back their cost in a few short years, where after you will have free electricity. Amazing, is it not?

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