Understanding how solar panels work

Solar energy can be used to light up your homes and also heat them! Solar panels effectively convert energy from the sun into electrical energy which can be used to power your houses and appliances and solar heating systems can be used to heat your homes as well.

Solar energy is our most abundant form of energy

One of the most baffling facts is that one hour of sunlight has just about enough energy which is required to generate power for all the homes of the world for one whole year. The solar energy given from the sun can be used in two different ways which are light and heat. These two energies are collectively used to generate solar power with the help of various processes:

  • Solar panels are electrical devices whereby the light and heat energy from the sun is converted to electricity with the help of specialized photovoltaic cells.
  • The process of collecting solar energy in a reservoir for the purpose of heating water for household purposes is known as home solar heating system.
  • Passive solar energy is a rather simple concept of designing whereby solar energy is given leverage for the purpose of heating homes with solar power
  • The conversion of solar heat energy to electricity is done commercially with the help of turbines, a process called utility scale solar thermal system
  • People use creative efforts within their own homes with the help of simple materials and tools to generate power using solar energy, this is known as DIY solar energy

How does Solar Energy work?

Solar Panels, Photovoltaic cells and Solar Energy

Solar panels are devices which can help convert the heat energy from the sun into electricity, and this process is completed with the help of specialized cells known as photovoltaic cells. In this process the electrons that are found on the surface of the photovoltaic panel are displaced due to the incoming rays from the sun. When displaced, these electrons become loose and this produces DC or direct current because they tend to follow a path which has already been determined for them on the photovoltaic panel. This current is then stored within the batteries from where it is then sent to a grid. It can also be converted to AC, or alternating current with the help of an inverter depending upon the requirement of the location.

Residential Solar Energy – 30% tax credit

In the year 2009, the federal energy tax credit became 30% on all purchases of devices capable of producing and generating electricity using solar power, as well as the installation of these panels. It is for this reason that the solar panels have gained immense popularity and usage within the span of a few years and now manufacturers are aiming for the production of extremely efficient and sophisticated photovoltaic panels and cells for residential and commercial usage.