A complete guide to How Solar Panels Work

by Guest-Author on March 14, 2013

While some of these technologies haven’t been developed for residential purposes, some have already paved the way to accessible alternative sources of energy and this includes the solar panels.Solar panels may probably be considered as one of the most famous and preferred options of many homeowners who want to have an alternative source of energy at home. Many homeowners who decide to have this technology fitted into their homes know the many benefits and capabilities of solar panels – see solar energy pros and cons. But when it comes to its inner working, do you think a large number of these residents know how solar panels work?

There are actually benefits to knowing how this green form of technology works. One form of benefit is that you are aware of the technology itself. This means you can understand and even pinpoint the source of a problem if one does occur. And if your children ask, you can easily give an answer to how it works. One other probable benefit is that you won’t fall prey to false advertising by companies and even salesmen who come knocking at your door. What I’m saying is that simply knowing how it works is a gain itself.

As you may know there are generally two kinds of solar panels available in the market today. One is that photovoltaic solar panels and the other are the solar hot water panels. PV solar panels are responsible for producing electricity while the other produces heat for your hot water domestic needs. Now for the purpose of this post, we will be discussing how PV panels work.

Parts of a Photovoltaic Solar Panel

• Solar panels – Solar panels are attached to the roof and are responsible for the collection of photons from the sun’s rays and convert them to Direct Current (DC.) This is usually composed of the glass cover, the solar cells, and the frame.

• Inverter – The inverter is in charge of transforming the collect DC to Alternating Current (AC) which is the useable form of electricity for residential homes.

• AC and DC Side isolation switches – These switches allows you to control the flow of DC and AC current.

• Battery – You can store unused electrical power into your battery. This will allow you to have power during the night.

• Meter – The meter will give you a glimpse of how your solar panels are performing, how much energy it has produced, DC and AC stats, and other helpful information.

how solar panels work

The Process

Light gets absorbed by the solar panels

Once light enters the solar panels, its photons are converted into electrons of DC electricity. The produced DC electricity then flows into an inverter.

Inverter converts DC to AC

The DC electricity then flows into the inverter where it will then be converted to AC power. This type of current is the one the powers your appliances and gadgets such as televisions, refrigerators, mobile phone chargers, and provides power to your electrical outlets. Inverters are also responsible for feeding electricity into the grid.

Monitoring System

To find out how your solar panels are performing, you can check out the bi-directional meter. This meter will tell you the status of your battery as a reserve power source.

Care for Solar Panels

Photovoltaic solar panels do not need constant care like other renewable energy technologies. They are pretty much fine taking up the sun’s light all day without any problems but giving them some tender love and care is not a bad idea at all.

Regular panel cleaning is one way of caring for your solar panels. If you live in an area that has a lot of exposure to dust, then you might need to visit your solar panels at least once a week to remove settled dust on the glass surface. You should also do the same if you have dead tree leaves that fall on it every now and then. You do not want to have the panels covered at some of its parts at any time of the day.

You can also try washing it down with water to help the panels’ temperature cool down. They are more efficient in lower temperatures – see Robot To Wash Solar Panels

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand how photovoltaic solar panels work. With the right information and research, you can be an expert about solar panels. I hope this guide has explained some major key points about the how solar panels work.

Author: Brooke Haughton is a correspondent of Solar Panels Info – web-site, an online resource for providing solar energy information in the UK.

About the Author

Contact the author

Previous post:

Next post: