We all know that solar power slashes your electricity bills whilst simultaneously helping in the fight against climate change, using the free and clean energy from the shining sun. We also know that the magic happens because of photovoltaic solar panels, whose potential is so great that – in just 90 minutes of sunshine or so – the entire world could get more than enough energy for an entire year. But can you really answer one of the most common of questions – “How do solar panels work?”
To answer that question, we’ll need to pose (and answer) 5 more:
1. What is solar power?
It gives us sunshine and light, but you should also think of the sun as one heck of a giant nuclear reactor. Tiny photons take the almost 150 million kilometre journey to earth and – luckily for us Australians – deliver plenty of untapped energy to the solar panels on our roofs just minutes later.
2. How do solar panels work for your home?
When the photos meet a solar cell, the conductors create an electrical circuit – and have the potential to produce electrical power. Your solar panels are comprised of many of these cells which when connected together are known as your solar array. The more cells, the more potential energy can be turned into instant useable electricity or stored in a solar battery.
3. What are solar panels made of?
The outer core, as we know, is effectively glass – but the solar cells themselves are silicone, much like the ones in your computer’s chip.
4. How do the panels create electricity?
It may sound a little technical, but what happens is that the photons separate the electrons from the atoms – and thanks to the conductors, an electrical circuit is created by connecting the cell’s positive and negative sides. Initially, the current is DC – or current with a single directional flow.
Related Reading: Solar Panels Not Working? 6 Common Solar Panel Problems
5. What does the solar inverter do?
Whilst separate from your solar panel array, it is the inverter that turns the DC power into AC power – which is the type of power we need for all of our lights and electrical appliances. In other words, the inverter ‘inverts’ the DC into AC.
Related reading: The Top 5 Solar Inverter Problems
Learn how solar panels work with Static Electrics
Here at Static Electrics, we can advise, install, maintain, service and even professionally clean your solar power system so that you never need to wonder or worry about how solar panels work ever again! Our local, family-owned business is fully accredited and licensed for solar repairs in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast & beyond, so why not get in touch to speak to our friendly local electricians near you today?