What is Solar Energy and How Does It Work?

Submitted by Sunrise Solar on Mon, 12/10/2018 - 9:00am
solar sun

On its surface, solar energy seems quite simple — the power of the sun is converted into electricity to power our homes and buildings. But in fact there is much more to it. 

Our sun works like a natural nuclear reactor.

releases tiny pieces of energy called photons towards the Earth’s surface. Photons can make the 93 million mile journey from the sun to the Earth in less than 10 minutes. 

Solar panels collect those photons on Earth and knock electrons loose from their atoms. Conductors that are connected on the positive and negative sides of a solar cell forms an electrical circuit.

So when electrons collected from the sun’s rays engage with the circuit, they generate electricity. 

A solar cell is able to collect electrons since it is made up of silicon, which is similar to semiconduc-tors. Just like common household batteries, solar cells are made up of a positive and negative layer to form an electrical field. 

Solar panels then generate direct current electricity (DC), which is run through an inverter in order to convert this power to alternating current (AC) electricity, and power our devices. 

Multiple cells make up one solar panel, and then multiple panels are connected together to create and entire solar power system or module. The more panels you connect together, the more electricity can be generated from the sun’s powerful rays. 

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