How Does a Solar Panel Work?

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Although people are now rushing to implement solar energy systems for their homes and businesses, many do not have an idea about how they actually work.

In this article, we will explain how solar panels work in the simplest way possible, with the help of infographics and videos.


The Science behind a Panel

Solar panels work using the photovoltaic effect, and do so using silicon much like computers. When silicon is stripped down, it is ideal for the transmission of electrons – the backbone behind how solar panels work.

When they’re not charged, silicon atoms only carry four electrons, but they can carry eight when charged.

When combined with elements found in sunlight, the solar plates combine through conductive wires to allow the passing of currents between panels.

Without photons (found in sunlight) these panels wouldn’t charge. The silicon atom carries nine electrons when it connects with sunlight, but it only has space for eight.

The particle ‘drops’ the negative electron, which circulates until it’s picked up by a positive electrode, which generates charge in the panel.

The atom can remain undamaged for a long time, which is why this form of energy is so durable.

how does a solar panel work?


Recent Designs

Obviously, as time progresses, the technology behind solar panels will continue to get better and better.

One of the most recent developments goes some way to solve the issue that one cell does not generate a lot of electricity, which often means that in order to be affective for a small house, a whole roof full of panels is required.

How to Choose the Right Residential Solar Panel System

These newer panels include concentrators (mirrors) that reflect the light into a series of smaller cells.

The best achieved sunlight conversion rate at the moment is just over 20% (in those sold commercially.) This may not sound like a lot and the reality is that it is not, but this is much improved.


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