For more than sixty years the innovation of solar cell technology has been in existence. Solar modules which are also known as photovoltaic solar panels have been used to produce electricity from light ever since the semiconductors that are based on silicon were invented. Solar panels are typically used in power generation for traditional power generations methods such as nuclear energy plants and steam driven generators and are no longer a curiosity in the laboratory. There are several different approaches to the collection of solar power that are use these days. Here are some of the ways solar panel manufacturers produce solar energy devices such as PV modules and photovoltaic cells.
The solar cells in solar panels are made from a material that is activated electrically when a light strikes their surfaces. This solar cell doesn’t have any moving parts. When several solar cells are added together you have a photovoltaic module or a solar array. The more solar cells that are added together, the more electrical energy is produced from the modules.
The leading layer of the solar wafer or cell in the solar panel has a layer of silicon that has a free charge of negatively charged particles or electrons. The bottom layer is enhances with boron that has holes or spaces that allow the electrons to move into these holes. The solar panel manufacturer uses an approach that creates this electron imbalance among the two layers on the inside of the semiconductor material. This imbalance causes the operation from the solar cell that creates the voltage and the electricity.
The photovoltaic cell in the solar panel is hit on the outside by the rays of light from the sun. This results in the excitement of the electrons in of the layers of silicon. Some of the electrons in the bottom layer travel towards the silicon layer in the top within the cell. The flow of electrons moves by the metal contacts that are positioned on the back and the front of the solar cell which creates electricity. Electrons flow in an electrical circuit or closed loop. When several solar cells are combined there is a cumulative effect on the amount of the voltage that is present much the same as the cells in a battery. If these cells are strung together in a negative to positive series, voltage will be added and the amperage will be preserved exactly the same as for a single cell. If the cells are strung in parallel the voltage will remain the same as for one cell but it will increase the amperage in the cells.
Solar panels create electricity that can be transmitted to an inverter. The inverter converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) which matches the type of electrical energy that powers your house. Electrical appliances use AC and in the US this power are produced at 60 HTZ but in Europe, 50 HTZ is used.
This solar electrical power from a solar panel feeds into the wiring of a power plant, business, or house into the power grid of the electrical utility. An independently owned and operated energy source can act as its own utility. This technique is known as being off the grid and requires that batteries be used for electrical power when the solar panels create more energy than the load wants and is discharged once the solar panel can’t acquire sufficient energy from the sun to offset the electrical loads from the business or residence.
These are the basics of how solar panel manufacturers produce solar electricity from solar cells. It is the wave of the future and good for the environment.