Solar power is undeniably one of the most prevalent and most viable sources of alternative energy currently in existence across the globe. Solar panels of virtually all sizes are to be found on residential and even commercial rooftops, roadside lighting, signs and plenty more other places. Yet a remarkable thing in all this is the fact that not everyone fully understands how do solar panels work to produce electricity. Well to this end this article is geared to elaborate on just how these products do to create electricity. Below is an insight.
Photovoltaic cells and solar energy
To begin with, solar panels carry out their invaluable services by permitting photons (particles of light) to separate electrons from atoms, which in effect generates energy. A solar panel is composed of many diminutive power generating units that are known as photovoltaic cells which are linked together. Each of these photovoltaic cells consists of a pair of semi conductors that in most cases than not is usually silicon.
How is an electric field created in solar panels? To work as they should these photovoltaic cells require an electric field, which is created when two oppositely charged poles are effectively separated. To make an electric field in solar panels, the manufacturers of these products dope the semi conducting materials (silicon) with other appropriate materials. This goes on to give each slice of the semi conductor a positive as well as negative charge.
How are the negative and positive charges in a solar panel created?
To which end the upper layer is usually seeded with phosphorous. This enables more electrons to be added to the semi conductor and in effect creating a negative charge to the given layer. On the other hand, the lower layer is seeded with boron. This results in lesser electrons been added to the layer and ultimately creates a positive charge. When these two effects are accomplished an electric field is created at the junctions between the semi conductor layers. This field then allows sunlight to effectually knock off the electrons free, which then the created electric field pushes them out of the junctions.
What are the other critical components of a solar panel and what do they do?
To work properly a solar panel also needs some other critical components to convert these electrons into a more usable power. This includes metal plates that are strategically positioned on either side of the photovoltaic cells. The work of these metal plates is to collect all the electrons knocked off by sunlight, and ultimately relay them to the output wires. At this particular point the electrons are in a position to flow freely. Which is not very different from the way the electrons generated by any other source of electricity behave.
Well, now you know just how do solar panels work to create electric power, and like you may have noticed these products adhere to relatively simple principles of electricity. Hope this article has been insightful for those who may have been probably wondering how solar energy is generated.