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Solar energy has become increasingly popular in recent years as people seek out more sustainable and renewable energy sources. But how does it work? In this blog post, we will delve into the science behind solar energy and explore how it’s generated and used.
The Basics of Solar Energy
Solar energy is generated from the sun’s rays, which are made up of photons, or particles of light. When the photons reach the earth, they are captured by solar panels, which are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells. These cells are made of semiconductor materials, such as silicon, that are capable of absorbing the photons and converting them into electrical energy.
How Solar Panels Work
Each PV cell in a solar panel is made up of two layers of silicon, one layer that has an excess of electrons (n-type silicon) and one layer that has a deficit of electrons (p-type silicon).
When the photons from the sun hit the PV cell, they knock electrons from the n-type silicon into the p-type silicon, creating a flow of electricity.
The flow of electricity is then captured by metal contacts on the surface of the cell, which are connected to wires that carry the electricity to an inverter.
The inverter converts the DC (direct current) electricity generated by the solar panel into AC (alternating current) electricity, which can be used to power homes and businesses.