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What is and how does photovoltaic solar energy work

You want to know what photovoltaic solar energy is and how it works in the conversion of solar rays into electricity. Then I’ll tell you!

What is and how does photovoltaic solar energy work

Experts say that, at any given moment, the earth receives up to 10,000 times more solar energy than is needed for human consumption. This, in addition to showing the potential of this resource, responds to how much solar energy can be used. What is generally known for: to generate electricity or for other uses, such as heating. But what about the how? Sometimes this is a question that gets overlooked. Therefore, we tell you what is the mechanism that makes it possible for the sun that shines to end up feeding a laptop or any other device in a home.

Photovoltaic solar energy: basic aspects.

Only available when the sun shines (as far as generation is concerned), photovoltaic solar energy is what allows it to be captured from sunlight to convert it into electricity with which to supply the needs of any home or commercial area.

If all this is possible, it is thanks to what is known as  the photovoltaic effect , crucial for the production of electricity from the sun. Several components come into play here. The first, the particles of which sunlight is composed (photons) and their impact on the solar panels, with which the electrons are released.

It is right there when more essential components of photovoltaic panels come into play, specifically the conductors that they incorporate which, in most cases, are made of silicon. Generally composed of a positive and a negative, these create an electric field through which the electrons circulate once activated, so that the current is produced.

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Photovoltaic solar panels.

Photovoltaic solar panels.

Obviously, the panels are essential within this mechanism. The process described above is produced, in particular, in small portions of the panel, which is divided into a multitude of  solar cells  made of silicon, generally, or other materials that also allow the use of energy, in addition to favoring a reduction in costs. .

Thus, the panels on which the light hits are formed by a multitude of small cells that give rise to modules and, these, to a panel itself. Although this is taken for granted, it is worth noting: the more panels, the more electricity generation. Now,  calculating the number of panels well  is one of the keys to any installation since sin by excess will push up the costs of the same without there being that need. If, on the other hand, one sins by default, the energy captured will not be enough to satisfy the needs.

Another key step: energy conversion.

Another key step: energy conversion.

Although how electricity is generated has already been explained, there is still a very important aspect to be clarified. The one produced by photovoltaic panels, in direct current, will have to  switch to alternating current to power the different equipment and devices in  the home.

And this, how is it achieved? With an element that, together with the panels, is essential for any solar energy installation: the  inverter . Its role in all of this is so important that many refer to this part of the team as the ‘brain of the system’.

Thus, what the inverter does is convert direct current into alternating current, suitable for use in homes, businesses or wherever a solar kit is installed. This technology will also direct the energy to the electrical grid or to the storage batteries (important, since sunlight is not available 24 hours a day), among other possible functions.

The sun is the most dynamically growing source of energy in the world. In addition, the trend can only continue to expand. Therefore, entering this world and understanding it as much as possible is and will be decisive for anyone who wants to meet their needs with solar energy and, thus, get off the list of those who continue to draw electricity generated from fossil sources, with the consequent impact over the planet.


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