How Solar Panels work?

working principle of solar panels

As of 2019, more than two million Solar Panels are installed in the US.

As well as 6% of US homeowners have Solar Panels in their homes.

The term Solar Panel is used to imply a Photovoltaic module. A PV module is a composite of photovoltaic cells. These PV cells are placed between two semiconducting materials, generally Silicon.

These PV cells use the energy source from sunlight to generate DC (direct current) electricity. This process is called the “Photovoltaic effect”.

In the year 1839, the Photovoltaic effect was discovered by Edmund Becquerel.

Let’s look at a simple step by step guide on how solar panel works. 

  • The Silicon PV cells absorb the photons from the sunlight.
  • When the electrons in a silicon cell are hit by sunlight, the electrons begin to move. As a result, creates a flow of electric current.
  • Wires transfer this direct current electricity to a solar inventor. There it is converted into AC (alternate current) electricity.
  • The AC electricity is then used by electronic appliances.
  • The excess electric current generated by solar panels is transported to the electric grid.

PV Panel is a collection of PV modules. A collection of panels is known as an Array. It is the Arrays of a PV system that supplies solar electricity to the electronic devices.

Other than a Silicon cell, a solar module also has a glass casing that protects the silicon PV cells. Under the glass case, the panel has an insulation sheet,, which keeps heat and humidity from entering inside the panel.

An anti-reflective coating is also part of the solar panel. The anti-reflective coat increases the absorption rate of sunlight and enables the silicon cell to receive maximum exposure to sunlight.