What are Photovoltaic Solar Panels?
If you have been researching renewable energy, you must have heard about Photovoltaic solar panels. In renewable energy technology, there are two main types of solar panels, namely photovoltaic solar panels and solar thermal. In this article, we will discuss more photovoltaic solar panels. Therefore, what are photovoltaic solar panels? In simple terms, photovoltaic solar panels are a solar paneling system that you usually see at the rooftop of houses and businesses. Photovoltaic solar panels produce electricity from solar energy directly. In the United States, we receive thousands of more sun solar energy than the power that is received by all fossil fuels combined. Therefore, it is vital to install a photovoltaic solar paneling system, as these solar panels convert sun heat energy directly to electricity.
How do Photovoltaic Solar Panels work?
As already seen, photovoltaic solar panels don’t require moving parts to produce electricity. So, how do they produce electricity? To understand this, you will need to know that the photovoltaic fits with silicon. When exposed to the sunlight, the sunlight makes the electrons attached to their host silicon atoms to detach. Then, the particles capture the tiny packets of the light energy referred to as photons. They produce enormous power, which is enough to kick the electron from its host atom. If you observe the cell’s upper surface, you will notice a one-way membrane commonly known as pn-junction. The process of forming this one-way junction is involved even if its use is not complicated. Let us focus on its use.
The work of a PN-junction is simple: to bar the free electron that crosses it from returning. In doing so, it makes a negative voltage to appear in the outer solar panel surface that faces the sun. The negative energy appears on the rear surface. The rear and the front surface are then connected by an external circuit, making the current possible extraction.
When explaining how the solar PV system works, we sometimes get too technical. However, I will try as much as I can not to get too technical. Perhaps you need first to understand the Photovoltaic effect concept since it is the process in which solar cells produce electricity. It is the process that explains how sunlight knocks outer electrons loose to create electricity in certain materials. All photovoltaic cells are either made up of polycrystalline materials or monocrystalline materials. These materials have two semiconductors located at the center that divide the contents into several layers. The semiconductor at the top has a negative layer since the material has atoms that have excess electrons. We all know that electrons carry a negative charge. On the other hand, the bottom semiconductor has a positive layer since the atoms in the material have some missing electrons.
The sunlight excites the loose electrons at the top semiconductor after it hits it. The excited electrons get free and, in turn, get attracted to the positive layer beneath. The movements make a barrier to form between the two layers. The electric current produces as the two layers force the electrons to travel around the cell.
You may be wondering how much electricity photovoltaic solar panels mounted this way can produce. In normal circumstances, those solar panels in the rooftops produce as much electricity as the building consumes. The best thing is that they use solar energy, which means that there will be no monthly bills. You will only incur the cost of installation and some routine maintenance costs. While some people argue that installation costs are sometimes high, I believe that it is a noble course that every citizen should undertake. You know that solar energy is clean, renewable energy. As opposed to fossil fuel energy, it does not release poisonous greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, which destroys the ozone layer. Therefore, they save our planet from global warming.