What are Solar Panels?
What are solar panels? Before delving into this question, it is essential that you understand how solar energy works. The sun is a nuclear reactor in nature. It releases small energy packets called photons that travel 93 million miles from the sun to Earth in approximately 8.5 minutes. Each hour, sufficient photons affect our planet to produce enough solar energy to meet global energy requirements for a whole year.
Solar energy was developed more than 100 years ago. In its early stages of development, solar energy was mainly used for steam production, which was then used to power machineries. It wasn’t Until Edmond Becquerel discovered the ” photovoltaic effect ” that solar electric power can be generated through sunlight. The discovery of Becquerel led to Charles Fritt ‘s creation in 1893 of the very first genuine solar cell developed by coating sheets of selenium with a thin layer of gold. From its humble beginning, the device we know today as the solar panel would emerge.
Now, the most important question, what are solar panels? A solar panel is a collection of solar cells and many small solar cells distributed across a large area can function together and provide sufficient power that are very useful. The much more light a cell hits, the more electricity it generates, which is why spacecrafts are usually built with solar panels that can always be directed to the Sun as the rest of the spacecraft’s body moves around, as the tank turret can be directed autonomously of where the tank goes.
It can therefore also be described as a set of photovoltaic modules that are mounted on a supporting structure. A Photovoltaic (PV) module is a packaged and connected solar cell assembly of 6×10 cells.
Solar panels have been designed to endure and withstand extreme weather conditions, making them extremely robust. Solar panels wear out slowly. In one year, their efficiency is only reduced by one to two percent (sometimes even less).
Nowadays, solar panels have been used in a broad range of applications, in conjunction with telecommunications equipment, remote sensing, cabin remote power systems, and of course, power generation by residential and commercial solar electric systems. The only big drawback of solar panels, however, is that they are very expensive. Solar panels are also installed outside, because they require sunlight to be charged.
A 2017 report by the International Energy Agency indicates that solar has become one of the fastest growing power source in the world, marking the first time that the growth of solar energy has outpaced all other fuels. In the years to come, we all will benefit from solar electricity in one way or another.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Now that you understand what are solar panels, you need to learn how they work. When photons started hitting a solar cell, electrons are knocked off the atoms. If conductors are already connected to a cell ‘s positive and negative sides, an electrical circuit forms. So when electrons flow through the circuit, electricity is generated. Multiple cells makes up a solar panel and multiple panels can be connected together to form a solar array. The more the panels you can use, then the more power you can generated.
What are Solar Panels Made of?
Most solar panels, such as semiconductors, are made from crystalline silicone solar cells. They are designed and built with a positive layer and a negative layer that, like in a battery, create an electrical field.