How Do Solar Panels Work?

South Africa is amongst the highest in terms of electricity costs. The need for other sources of energy is more prevalent and more households are now opting to go off the grid in order to save money. But just how do those solar panels light up the nation?

Getting a Little Sun

Gleaming black on rooftops, solar panels need to bask in the sunlight to create energy. Comprised of solar cells, layers of silicon-based semiconductor wafers bundled together like a sandwich, power is generated by capturing sunlight. Dubbed the “photovoltaic effect,” the creation of energy from this captured sunlight is an amazing process.

  • Sunlight shines on the solar cell.
  • Photons from sunlight are caught by the top part of the cell.
  • Photons carry light’s energy down through the cell.
  • Photons give up their energy to electrons in the lower layer.
  • Electrons jump to the upper layer of the cell, escaping into the circuit, and creating an electrical current.
  • The solar panel combines the current generated from all the solar cells in its unit.
  • This direct current (DC), is sent through an inverter, which transfers the current into alternating current (AC), the kind used by your appliances.
  • The electricity provided is integrated into your existing electric service, with your local utility provider supplying the needed backup you need on those days when the sun’s not so shiny or additional electricity is needed.

 

Ready to take more of your power needs into your own hands and drastically lower your carbon footprint? Take advantage of the infinitely renewable, pollution-free energy of the sun. Better meet the electricity needs of your home with the addition of solar panels. Contact Sunburst Electric to learn more today.

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