Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity that we can use to power our homes and devices. Here’s a simple explanation of how this happens:
- Sunlight is made up of tiny packets of energy called photons. When these photons hit the solar panel, they are absorbed by special materials in the panel called solar cells.
- Most solar cells are made of silicon, a material that is good at absorbing sunlight. Silicon is arranged in two layers: one with a positive charge and one with a negative charge.
- When the sunlight (photons) is absorbed by the solar cells, it knocks electrons loose from the silicon atoms.
- The loose electrons are attracted to one side of the silicon layers, creating an electrical current. This current is called direct current (DC).
- The DC electricity needs to be converted to alternating current (AC) to be used in our homes, as most of our appliances and devices use AC electricity. An inverter, which is connected to the solar panel system, does this job.
- Once the electricity is converted to AC, it can be used to power our homes and devices or be sent back to the grid if we produce more than we need.
In summary, solar panels work by absorbing sunlight, which excites electrons in the solar cells. This creates an electrical current, which is then converted to a form of electricity that we can use to power our homes and devices.