How Do Solar Panels Work? The Basics Explained


The sun is our most abundant source of renewable energy. So it makes sense to harness as much of it as we can in order to save money, reduce waste, and protect the environment.

The good thing is that in recent years, the cost of installing solar panels on homes has drastically reduced. What’s more, any energy you don’t use can be sold back to the grid, further reducing your energy costs.

So, with all of that in mind, how do solar panels work exactly? If you’ve been thinking about investing in them yourself and want to know more, this article will outline it all for you.

Solar Panels

How Do Solar Panels Work?

The science behind solar panels is quite remarkable. When you have your solar panel system installed, light particles (photons) are absorbed from the sun and converted into electricity through a chemical reaction. The steps of this process are as follows:

Step 1

Solar panels contain lots of photovoltaic (PV) cells on their surface. These are made up of a sandwich of two semiconductors (silicon cells) – one with a positive charge and the other a negative. As the light particles pass through, they knock electrons off the atoms which creates energy (electricity).

Step 2

The current produced is direct current (DC) electricity, which is not enough to power your home. So, an inverter takes over to convert that into alternating current (AC). This allows you to power all of your appliances in a safe and controlled way.

Step 3

At this point, the electricity works just the same as it would when you get it from the national grid. When you don’t generate enough from solar panel technology, you get your power from the traditional route, so you’re not left in the cold and dark.

Step 4

What if you generate more power than you need? Once you have met your energy requirements, any excess goes back to the grid which is exchanged for credits on your next bill.

Should You Invest in Solar Panels?

If you are considering investing in solar panels, they may be a little costly, to begin with, but they will save you a lot of money on your energy in the long run. There are a few things to bear in mind before you do though.

A south-facing roof should get the optimal amount of sunshine. That doesn’t mean they won’t work on a cloudy day. But an unobstructed view will allow for maximum light absorption.

This is therefore affected by where you live, the number of trees around you, roof size, and so on. This kind of thing is assessed by your solar company beforehand to ensure you meet the requirements and get the benefits you want.

Sustainable Power to the People

Hopefully, this short guide has shed a little light on the question of, “how do solar panels work?” It’s a relatively simple process, but it’s also one that can benefit many households.

It’s not just an investment in your home and to bring bills down, but it’s one of the best ways to use the sun’s renewable energy. So you can protect our planet while keeping warm all year round.

If you’re interested in more home and lifestyle tips, head on over to our blog for the latest news today!


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