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How Do Solar Panels Work?

solar-and-sunnyYou see them everywhere. Many people are moving towards eco-friendly energy options. Homeowners are now opting for solar panel installation for their home’s electrical needs. Adding solar panels to homes has become a popular way to take advantage of an endless energy source, and it can cut electric bills by up to 70%! There are so many benefits to installing solar paneling for your home, especially here in sunny California. Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning offers a wide range of solar panel services in Madera!

If you have found yourself reading this blog, it is most likely because you are curious about the science behind solar panels, so let’s start with the basics. Solar energy is derived from the sun’s radiation. The sun is a powerful energy source, and its energy can be harnessed by solar panels. We typically place solar panels on the roof because it is where they often obtain maximum sunlight exposure, though freestanding installations are also common. Solar energy is a renewable energy source. This means that it is endless, and we can’t run out of it. Solar energy will be accessible as long as the sun continues to shine!

So how do solar panels work?

Every solar panel contains photovoltaic cells, or PV cells. Each of these cells is made up of two slices of semiconducting material, often silicon. Each slice contains either a positive or negative electrical charge. When the sun’s light, made up of photons, hits the solar panels, the photons interact with the cells. The photon knocks an electron free from the cell, and the electric field then pushes that electron out of the silicon junction to create an electric flow.

After this electric flow is produced, it must be converted into usable energy for your home, so the electric current created by the panel is passed through a transformer. The transformer converts DC (direct current) electricity into AC (alternating current) electricity, which is used to power houses and buildings. AC electricity is relatively easy to generate and transport, and less energy is lost in transmission at high voltages.

We understand that the science behind this can seem a little complicated, but you won’t need to worry about it too much. What is important to remember is that solar panels do not pull energy from the sun. Instead, the radiant energy of the sun excites the panels to create an electric current.

If you are considering solar for your home, there are a few things that you should know. Solar panels require very little maintenance because they have almost no moving parts. In addition, you will spend less on energy bills. Yes, solar panel installation can be a bit pricey, but it might be worth it in the long run, especially if you live somewhere that is particularly sunny, like Madera! Even if we do experience a cloudy day, your solar panel will continue to work, as there is still light energy hitting the PV cells. Even if we can’t see the light, the energy still permeates through the clouds.

If you are looking to go solar, contact Donald P. Dick to schedule an appointment for solar PV panel services.