Understanding the Source: The Fascinating Anatomy of a Solar Panel

Children, ever curious, are quick to ask how things work.  As we grow older, some lose the propensity to wonder how things work.  For example, simply flicking a switch and illuminating a room requires electricity.

The world once relied on candles and sunlight alone for illumination.  Electricity and other sources of power enable more possibilities.  Of course, those, kind to the earth, find clever ways to cleanly and safely generate energy.  Solar panels capture sunlight, using electrons as an eventual source of energy to power homes, buildings, businesses, etc.

Electron Filter

Sunlight becomes electricity via the capture, extraction, and transfer of electrons.  Photons, particles of light, pass through sunlight atoms, shaking electrons free.  The electrons are attracted to tiny cells in solar panels which then transfer the electrons to metal panels.  Lastly, electrons gather in the plates and then transferred to wires to produce electricity.

Photovoltaic Cell

Each tiny cell is formed like a sandwich.  Two ‘slices’ of silicon cells, fit with negative and positive materials, generate an electrical field of energy.  Phosphorus and boron work in opposition to cause a reaction.  Photons of light knock available electrons free, and the electrons then pushed out of the silicon network and transferred to metal plates.  The plates send impulse to wires and then to homes, which eventually serves as electricity.

Other Forms

Other forms, such as solar thermal and concentrated solar power, help home and business owners ‘go green’ and avoid high utility costs.  Speak to available vendors about how to harness the power of the sun with photovoltaic cells, or systems that use heated water or air.  Depending on area and location of home or building, vendors may propose one or a variety of solutions.

Custom Paneling

Each situation and need differs.  Ideally, if you lived at the equator and installed a network of solar panels, you would take full advantage of the sun’s power.  However, most people do not live at the equator nor require to meet the max power rating.  Speak to vendors about solar panels in Perth or your local area, so your expectations are not met with disappointment regarding costs versus savings.

Net Metering

Entrepreneurial minded home and business owners seek ways to save and make money.  ‘Net metering’ provides owners opportunity to make money on supplemental energy stored.  For example, a Floridian homeowner, fixing a network of panels to his modest-sized home, may produce more than enough energy to address the needs of the estate.  The storage of energy transfers to supplemental income for those in such situations.

Lifestyle Choice

Like those who regard exercise as a lifestyle choice rather than immediate fad, those who choose to invest in solar energy make additional choices to benefit.  Using CFL bulbs, lighting candles at night, and choosing window air units (rather than central systems) saves more money and supports green living.

Those making the commitment to solar energy save money and explore future options that actually produce added incomes.  Speak to available vendors about making an investment in your home or business.

Robert Mitchell is a self-confessed science and technology nerd. An avid writer, he likes to help others by sharing what he learns by posting online. You can read his interesting and informative posts on various websites and blogs today. 

 

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.

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