Solar power has become increasingly popular as the modern world moves towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. But how exactly does solar power work? Let's explore the science behind solar power and its use in generating electricity.
At the heart of solar power are photovoltaic (PV) cells. These cells are made of semiconductor materials, such as silicon. When photons from sunlight hit the PV cells, they excite the electrons in the semiconductor material, causing them to flow through an external circuit and generate electricity.
Multiple PV cells are connected in a module, and numerous modules are combined to form a solar panel. You can install these panels on rooftops, fields, or even on the sides of buildings, where they can receive maximum exposure to the sun.
The electricity that is generated by the solar panels is still direct current (DC). But since most homes and businesses use alternating current (AC) power, an inverter must convert the DC electricity to AC. Once the inverter converts the DC power to AC power, it can power homes, businesses, and even the electric grid.
Additionally, solar thermal systems use mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight onto a fluid-filled pipe, heating the fluid and producing steam, which you can use to generate electricity or heat water. As technology improves, solar energy becomes more efficient and affordable, making it an increasingly attractive option for homes and businesses worldwide..