How Do Solar Panels Work?

We all know the power of the sun – just think of those Christmas sunburns – but how do solar panels harness that energy? Our experts at Pedleys Solar take you through the process of how a star powers your refrigerator below.

Energy from the Sun

The sunlight we see every day is made up of photons. These particles have a mass of zero and shoot around the universe at the speed of light. And they’re really handy for us on Earth because they also carry energy – we just need to catch it.

Sunlight to Electricity

Each solar panel on your roof is made up of many photovoltaic cells (PV cells). These cells are built with photon-absorbing materials like silicone that react to sunlight by releasing electrons, producing an electric direct current (DC).

‘Photo’ is derived from ‘photon’, meaning light. ‘Voltaic’ refers to electricity. So, ‘photovoltaic’ just means electricity from light.

That’s the tricky bit done. All your solar power system needs to do next is use its inverter to change the DC into an alternating current (AC). AC is the type of current your home’s electrical grid uses to power everything in your home.

Storage and Use

While your solar panels do their job, the electricity they capture is yours. What you do with it is up to you. In most cases, solar power is:

  • Used to power appliances during the day
  • Stored in a battery to be used later
  • Sent off to your local energy grid (for a profit).

Solar panels offer a smart way to utilise an endless resource. If you’d like to learn more about how much electricity they could bring to your home, our friendly experts are happy to talk you through it.

Get in touch with our team online or call us on 1800 270 963 for an obligation-free quote today.

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