How Solar Electric Panels Work

In case you’ve got more than a passing interest in solar energy and are thinking of investing in a home solar panel array, then you most likely have a vague idea of how solar panels produce electricity. When I first started looking into “going solar”, my notion of how these systems functioned was basically this: sunlight shines to a pushmatic electric panel, causes some type of reaction inside the materials of which the panel was created, and, voila, electricity outcomes. How sun goes in and electricity comes out is a little more complicated, yet. Just a small bit of research will provide you a fairly good understanding of how a solar electric panel functions, and it is pretty interesting things.

Solar Panels and Electricity Generation

The alternate name for solar panels is photovoltaic, which literally means “light electricity.” The concept that sunlight can be transformed into electrical power was initially noticed by a French scientist named Alexander Edmond Becquerel in 1839. Becquerel’s research led to easy photovoltaics that used selenium to create electricity; maybe not until the 1950s did silicon take selenium’s location because of superior electrical conductor. This new semiconductor material had a little assistance to develop into an outstanding conductor of electricity, however, so researchers included other elements, such as phosphorus or boron. This procedure, called doping, significantly increases the silicon’s ability to make an electric current.

Each solar panel is in fact made of individual photovoltaic (PV) cells, each of which will be a very small power producing plant. Hundreds of those cells are subsequently made to a module, groups of which are subsequently attached to a panel. A panel’s wattage is based as a part of every cell’s electricity production and its own voltage. How can the cells create electricity? Typically, every cell contains two layers, each of which includes silicon. The surface is doped with potassium, whereas the bottom one is doped with boron. This basically sets up a scenario where the bonding of silicon together with every one of the materials generates an electrical charge. The top layer creates a positive charge, while the base layer is negatively charged. The no man’s land in between these layers is called the P-N junction, in which electron movement generates an electric field that keeps electrons moving out of the P layer into the surface, despite the fact that they’d much like to move from the opposite direction.