We all know that solar panels generate electricity using sunlight. But very few of us know how it works. We don’t know what goes into the whole process from the falling of sunlight on the panel to us getting normal AC from household usage.
How does solar panel work:
Today you will understand how solar panels work in simples steps
Sunlight hits the solar panel
Solar Panels have photovoltaic cells inside them. These cells are made of semi-conductive material, mostly silicon. When sunlight hits these cells, the photons which are present in sunlight are absorbed by these cells.
Creating an electric field
These photons make electrons free inside the cell. The cells are made such that a negatively charged semiconductor and a positively charged semiconductor are sandwiched together. This electrical field gives electrons a direction. Every cell has a metal plate and these free electrons with the help of this electrical field go to the metal plate and from that metal plate to a wire.
Conversion of DC into AC
These electrons which flow into the wire are needed to be converted from Direct Current to Alternating Current. It is because every household works on alternate current. For doing thins an inverter is used. An inverter converts DC into AC and now this electricity is ready for usage in a home.
Electricity goes from inverter to electric panel
After this conversion electricity is all ready but it needs to be channelized to be used in the house. For this purpose, the electricity goes to the electric panel of the house, also known as a breaker. Breaker has an electric connection to every place in the house. The electricity which is not needed is either stored or sent to the utility electrical grid.
Classifications of solar panels
There are two main types of solar panels
Thermal Solar panels
These Solar Panels are not used for generating electricity. They are used for the generation of heat.
Photovoltaic Solar Panels
These are the types of Solar Panels that we have discussed above.
There are two most common types of Photovoltaic Solar Panels:
Monocrystalline silicon solar panels
Monocrystalline silicon solar panels are the most common and most efficient type of solar panel. Monocrystalline silicon is made by taking a melted vat of silicon, adding a crystalline “seed” to solidify the silicon into bars, which are then cut into squares or “wafers” that make up a solar panel.
Polycrystalline silicon solar panels
Polycrystalline silicon is similar to monocrystalline silicon but has fewer steps in its development process. The crystals used to solidify the silicon are not made at the same level of quality and are not as consistent as monocrystalline.