How Do Solar Panels Work?

Each solar panel is constructed with many smaller units which are called solar cells. In most types of solar panels, the solar cells are made from silicone. Silicone is known to be a “semi-conductor” and is one of the most abundant elements on Earth.

House with sun shining on roof with solar.

Solar Cells

A solar cell is made up of crystal and silicone. The crystal and silicone is held together or “sandwiched” between conductive material such as aluminium. Each solar cell contains two different layers of silicone. One has extra electrons and the other one has extra holes for electrons. The extra electrons from one layer of silicone fill the holes of the other layer. Therefore, all the silicone atoms are connected by a strong bond, keeping the electrons steady. This also creates a positive charge on one side of the silicone and a negative on the other. The sunlight contains photons.

When one of the photons from the sun hits the solar cell, it knocks out one of the electrons leaving a hole. The knocked-out electron than navigates towards the positive charged side and the hole to the negative charged side. The knocked-out electron is then gathered and travels through the conductive material which acts as an external circuit and from there the electron can do electric work such as the powering of a light bulb. After the electron has done its electric work it returns to where it was knocked out via the other side of the external circuit. Each silicone cell only produces around 0.5 volts of power. However, you can connect many cells together and put them on a panel.

Why Are Inverters Important?

The electricity produced by the solar panel is then sent to an inverter. The electricity produced by the solar panel is DC electricity or Direct Current electricity. The inverter converts DC electricity to what is known as AC electricity or alternating current electricity. The AC electricity is then used to power your electrical products such as televisions, refrigerators and lights. Inverters do much more than convert electricity from DC to AC. They also can generate statistics about the solar panels, such as how much electricity was produced by the solar panels, what percentage of the households used electricity came from the solar panels and power point tracking. If you're need solar installed check out our homepage

During the peak daylight hours, solar panels naturally produces more energy. If there is any excess energy it is sent into the baseload electricity grid. The customer will get credit when this excess electricity is sent back to the baseload grid. During cloudy days and at night time the customer can use these credits to get discounted electricity from the baseload grid. Check out more information on the solar rebate, to see if you're eligible. 

Solar panels work best during the summer for the south east of Australia. Solar panels don’t produce that much electricity during the winter in Victoria and Tasmania. In the tropical parts of Australia, during the rainfall season solar panels produce little electricity but during the other times of the year they produce much more.

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