How do solar panels work? - informs

Over the years, they have gone from a futuristic artifact to another part of our daily lives. We explain how solar panels work, which is one of the keys to renewable energy in the future.

Gradually solar panels become part of the urban landscape. If you look at the roofs newly constructed buildings, you will find them, as in most cases they are mandatory.

You can also see them as a roof for  unpopular "parking meters" or even more hated traffic cameras.

But how do they work?

This is how the energy of the sun is compressed

Summarizing a lot and simplifying, the process looks like this:

The sun's rays fall on plates of semiconductor materials, which convert the received energy into electricity.

The so-called Solar cells . They form solar panels and are small elements of crystalline silicon  or gallium arsenide.

How solar panels work

Solar cells mixed with  other components such as phosphorus and boron  to form two parts, one charged with negative electrons and the other positive.

When a solar cell is exposed to the sun, photons manage to move electrons from the part where there is an excess of negative charge to the part where it is absent. This movement of electrons creates solar self-consumption energy .

As the photons  release electrons more and more electricity is generated. Electrons that are not used or come from the wind go back to the negative panel, causing everything to start over again at  endless process .

At the same time, it produces D.C. , which is stored in batteries until it is converted to  alternating current (the one that reaches your home) via voltage inverters.

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What are voltage inverters?

To know what the function of these devices is, it is necessary to know that  D.C. , as its name suggests, has a regular flow and only flows in one direction.

On the contrary, alternating current has a constantly changing power and direction with different intervals of troughs and peaks.

Voltage inverters smoothly and smoothly change the direction of direct current and convert it to alternating current. So? For it to be useful to you most household appliances It needs alternating current to work.

In addition, our refrigerators, dishwashers, mini circuits… require a specific and well regulated voltage. With alternating current, it is much easier to change its flow and its voltage.

Types of solar panels

  • monocrystalline: they  are made up of single crystal cells. They are very easy to recognize by their rich black color  and cut corners. They are 15-25% more efficient than other models. In addition, their service life is longer, since they can  last up to 25 years .
  • Polycrystalline:  composed of polycrystalline cells. They have dark blue color ... They  cheaper but less efficient , although at present it has been possible to reduce their losses due to reflection and improve light capture.
  • Thin layer:  this model is different from the previous ones. This is not a union of several individual cells, but  sheet cut to size . Its manufacture is simpler, which explains its  low price . They are very flexible and can adapt to all types of surfaces, which is why they are increasingly being used in homes.

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