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What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is energy from the sun. It can be used to generate electricity to power homes and larger facilities. Solar energy can be generated on a small scale by solar cells or panels, or large-scale using solar farms. A solar panel is an array of photovoltaic cells, which convert the sun’s energy into electricity through the photoelectric effect.

Solar energy is the conversion of light into electricity using photovoltaic cells. It occurs in several forms depending on its wavelength. This process uses semiconductors to produce an electric current when illuminated. Light is energy that travels in waves. It is given off by the Sun, and other hot objects, and travels through space and circulates around the Earth, breaking down as it goes. A significant proportion of solar radiation is invisible infra red, which is absorbed by the atmosphere.

How Does Weather Affect Solar Energy?

When it comes to solar energy, there’s a right time and a wrong time to install. Some say January or February, when the days are short, is the best time. While others say June or July, when the days are long and the sun is highest in the sky, is the best.
In the reverse of other electronics, solar panels work efficiently in cold temperatures, which allows for better electrical generation. As the temperature rises, the ability of the panel to generate electricity decreases.

Anything that stands between your panels and the sun can reduce the amount of solar energy your system produces. Although solar panels work just like a sun burn for you would, depending on how thick the cloud coverage is, you will not lose electricity.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels use photovoltaic (PV) cells to convert sunlight into direct current (DC) energy. They are usually mounted on houses; the DC energy travels inside the house to an inverter, which in turn converts it to alternating current (AC) energy, which then flows through the home’s electrical panel powering any appliances with electricity.
Any excess electricity created with the solar panels is sent to the electric grid which in turn provides you with the electricity needed.

Photovoltaic cells are made from semi-conducting materials, most commonly commercially pure silicon. When light strikes the cell’s surface, electrons become excited, jump from one energy level to another, and flow as a current. This ‘photoelectric effect’ is what creates useful electricity.

Photovoltaics Basics

The photovoltaic (PV) effect occurs when photons from sunlight are absorbed by a semiconductor material. The energy in photons can be transferred to the electrons in the material, creating an electric field across the semiconductor.
The world has been increasingly relying on solar energy to reduce carbon footprints. The technology was initially used for space exploration but has now penetrated into the mainstream energy sector and is being used to power houses, industries, and public transportation systems.

The vast majority of today’s solar cells are made using the crystalline semiconductor silicon and offer effective and cost-effective solutions. These cells are usually mounted in panels to create large, utility-scale systems.

A thin film solar cell is a photovoltaic technology made from very thin layers of semiconductor material. These layers are typically just micrometers in thickness.

Type III-V solar cells are some of the most expensive types of solar cells available. However, these photovoltaic arrays convert sunlight into electricity at much higher efficiencies than other types of solar cells.