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What Are Solar Panels?

What Are Solar Panels?

solar panels

Solar panels harness the power of the sun to create clean, renewable energy for homes and businesses. They provide an alternative to conventional power, saving you money and helping the environment.

Solar panels systems are composed of a series of photovoltaic cells that generate electricity by converting sunlight into usable AC current via the photoelectric effect. Each PV cell is made from semiconductor material with a front surface that’s specially treated to make it more receptive to the sun’s light (photons). When a photon hits the semiconductor, it can either reflect off or pass through, but only those that absorb the photon provide electricity. The energy generated by a single PV cell is small, about 1 or 2 Watts. To generate larger quantities of electricity, PV cells are connected together in parallel or series. The cells are protected from the elements by a glass or plastic sheet and held in a frame.

Solar Panels 101: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

A solar panel system requires a converter to convert DC electricity into alternating current. This inverter is typically built into the module. Some systems also use a battery to store energy for later usage. Alternatively, the excess energy can be sent back to the electric grid.

The technology behind solar panels has come a long way since scientists first discovered that silicon-an element found in sand-created an electric charge when exposed to sunlight. Now, with the help of tax credits and falling panel prices, homeowners can expect a return on investment within seven to 12 years.

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