How Do Solar Panels Work?

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Solar panels have been around for some time now, but very few people can describe how they work. First of all, solar energy is energy provided from the sun. Fortunately for us, we can manipulate this energy for human use. How? With solar panels.

Solar panels are made of cells designed to take in solar energy. Here’s the basics of it:

  • Sun gives light
  • We as humans manipulate that light with solar panels
  • We get solar energy as a provider of, in many cases, electricity

Technical Explanation

To give you this explanation, let’s remember a couple of terms some of us haven’t visited since high school. We’ll keep it simple.

Atom: A chemical unit comprised of protons, neutrons and electrons.

Photons (not to be confused by protons): A particle of light or radiation.

Electrons: A subatomic particle with a negative charge. Electrons are key because they are the primary carrier of electricity.

When sunlight hits a solar panel cell, the photons coming through separate electrons from atoms, generating a flow of electricity. But it doesn’t stop there. If it did, we’d simply have a free flow of electricity inside the cell. In order for electricity to flow, the cell has to be built appropriately, which includes having metal conductors on either side of the cell.

The metal conductors serve to collect the now separated electrons making energy, and transfer them to the wiring of the panel. The wiring can be complex, so always be sure to have a knowledgeable professional install your solar panel wiring.

What Kinds of Solar Panels Are There?

There are different types of solar panels, depending on what you’re trying to do. PV or photovoltaic solar panels are used to receive energy for electrical devices. There’s also thermal collectors which are used to heat up the water in your home. Check with your solar panel installer to find out which is better for you.

Do Solar Panels Save Money?

The short answer is yes. However, the amount of money you save depends on a few factors, including placement of the panels. Will there be tree blockage, for example? Another aspect to consider is, is your neighborhood allowed to install solar panels? And, do you need permission from your local authorities? We recommend checking with your electric company or with neighbors who already have solar panels for more information. Installing solar panels is a big decision and you want to be satisfied with your choice.



How to Choose the Right Solar Panel Installation Company?

When you look for professionals to install solar panels in your home, it’s important that you trust them. There are two main items we recommend when choosing your solar panel installation professional.

First: Assess their knowledge. If you don’t know which solar panels you want for your home, ask them which they believe would be best for you. It’s not about them giving you the most expensive and unnecessary choice, but the best for your home. What will fit your roof (or solar panel area) and what will satisfy your needs. Do you need thermal heating or simply electricity for your electronics?

Second: Experience. Have they’ve been doing this for a while? Do they have true branding? Do they sound like they know what they’re doing? Are they local to you? Are they willing to provide you with references or do they have online reviews? It’s important to know who’s installing this investment for you. You want your solar panels to last, so choose the right people for the job. We’ve put together a few points to remember when dealing with your solar panel supplier here.

To answer other questions, feel free to contact us, Queensland Solar & Lighting for your solar panel needs.