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WHAT SOLAR PANELS ARE AND HOW THEY WORK

Solar panels basically convert sunlight into electricity.
Learning what solar panels are and how they work is essential if we really want to take advantage of what solar energy offers and move to self electricity consumption …

WHAT ARE THE SOLAR PANELS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

WHAT SOLAR PANELS ARE AND HOW THEY WORK

Solar energy is one of the renewable energies that we can best take advantage of if we propose it and that, really, offers us a lot of possibilities.

We can be independent in terms of the supply of electricity, have a house or a self-sufficient premises and, incidentally, preventing pollution from increasing by leaps and bounds as it has done up to now.

Do you want to sign up for electric self-consumption and learn what solar panels are, how they work, where to buy them and much more? Then, you have reached the place you were looking for, because in this Green Ecology article we talk about all of this.

What is solar energy and the photovoltaic effect

The  solar energy  is coming from  the sun’s rays  that reach us to the surface of the Earth. The Sun is a star and emits energy in the form of  electromagnetic radiation , so, thanks to the distance we are at, the planet receives light and heat.

The Sun is a source of energy considered as one of the inexhaustible natural resources, as well as renewable energy resources, which converts solar energy into a sustainable and alternative energy.

It is a type of energy with which the negative environmental impact is significantly reduced, buying it with dirty and highly polluting energies such as fossil fuels.

There are areas of the planet that can benefit from this type of energy more easily than others.

For example, Spain is one of the sunniest areas there is and is one of the areas where the highest rate of solar radiation in Europe is collected that can be used as energy, converting it into electricity and other possibilities.

Specifically, recent studies have estimated that Spain receives about 1,500 kilowatts / hour throughout the year per square meter.

Until recently, other countries have been at the forefront with this technology and this country has been in the tail of  solar energy producers even having this amount of solar rays, but lately the picture has improved, the prices of solar panels.

To obtain this energy they have come down and there are more facilities to buy them, install them and use them and take advantage of the electric self-consumption .

In fact, in the last year its growth in Spain has been spectacular and an important advance towards renewable energies is foreseen to obtain electricity and more benefits.

In the video below you can learn more about solar energy.

What is the photovoltaic effect?

The photovoltaic effect is the partial transformation of the energy that comes from the light or light energy that there is in the electrical energy. To get this electricity from  photovoltaic solar energy  , photovoltaic or solar cells are used.

Learn more about what solar energy is and what it is for in this other Green Ecology article.

What are solar panels and how do they work – simple explanation

The cell consists of a PN junction with a metal grid on top and a conductive manifold on the back. Light photons strike the semiconductor doped N  . 

These photons transmit their energy to electrons that,  therefore, free themselves from the attraction of the nucleus around which they gravitate .

The electric field of the PN junction repels these electrons towards the metal grid. 
These  electrons then circulate through the circuit  to which the panel is connected, to return through the subsequent contact in the semiconductor, where they are again attracted to a nucleus.

The  solar panels  are structures that allow us  to capture the sun’s energy to transform it into electricity  and variety of uses.

These solar panels are usually made of aluminum and are formed by a set of several cells or solar cells, which contain mainly silicon.

Thanks to the photovoltaic effect, explained above, these solar panel cells are capable of capturing solar radiation and transforming it into electrical energy.

How is the photovoltaic effect produced?

During this process, what happens is that the photovoltaic effect occurs when the radiation coming from the Sun hits the surface of the cell or solar cell, more specifically in the different electrons of the atoms of the solar cell, and in this way each Electron can be released from its position in the different atoms and go on to create a current of electrons or electricity that goes through the electric circuit, thus obtaining the new energy or usable electric current.

How are the solar panels formed?

Therefore, this is  how solar panels work , since one is composed of a certain amount of solar cells and these, in turn, by a large number of atoms with electrons that capture and transmit this energy; so that the assembly that is the panel can absorb and produce a large amount of energy.

In a home, few solar panels are usually installed, even just one, since it is usually sufficient for self-consumption and to have a sustainable, ecological and self-sufficient house.

However, not only the  electric self-consumption in the home  is expanding, but also grow companies that seek it for their own consumption and those that have  solar farms, orchards or solar orchards or solar fields  for the production of electricity with a process more sustainable than those used so far and its distribution to companies and individuals.

In this last case it is about large areas full of large solar panels, something similar to wind farms.

Types of solar panels: photovoltaic, thermal and hybrid

There are three  types of panels or solar panels :

  • Solar photovoltaic panels.
  • Thermal solar panels.
  • Hybrid solar panels (photovoltaic and thermal)

In addition, within these there are more types of different solar panels according to other factors.

Within the  photovoltaic solar panels , which are the ones that capture the light energy to transform it into electricity, we find the monocrystalline panels (silicon), polycrystalline (silicon) and other types that are not composed of silicon.

On the other hand, between the solar thermal panels , which are the ones that capture the energy of the sun to transform it into thermal or heating energy, there are low temperature collectors, medium temperature collectors and high temperature collectors.

To finish, the  hybrid solar panels  are those that combine both types of plates in one to be able to produce both electricity and strain at the same time.

Advantages and disadvantages of solar panels

There are many  advantages offered by solar panels and electric self-consumption  and, therefore, more and more people join the use of renewable, sustainable and clean energy for their home. As advantages we highlight:

  • Energy is obtained from the sun’s rays, a totally natural source and considered inexhaustible.
  • Much less is contaminated by producing clean energy.
  • Energy self-sufficiency
  • Increase the value of the property.
  • They involve the creation of green jobs with new jobs.

However, like everything else in life, we can also see the side of the  disadvantages of solar panels :

  • They require a high initial outlay, although this is improving over time and, in fact, they have recently lowered their prices.
  • In some countries there are taxes and fees and renewable energy still receives little support.
  • They need a specific location to make the most of the light and be more effective.
  • When installing them there is a visual impact on the landscape of the area.

WHAT SOLAR PANELS ARE AND HOW THEY WORK

Installation of solar panels at home or in companies

Regarding the  installation of solar panels on the roof of a house, a business or a company , we would like to indicate that a series of basic factors must be taken into account to ensure that it works well and that the area chosen to place them is the most adequate

  • Your current electricity consumption.
  • The orientation of the surface on which you will install the solar panels.
  • The possible shadow that some objects can project on the chosen area at certain times of the day. For example, trees, poles or other buildings can cast shadows on the roof or area you choose, but the important thing is that it is not during the hours when there is more sunlight.
  • The condition of the roof or the surface of the installation, because if it is in poor condition, it is not advisable to place the panels there, it is better to change places or first to reform the surface.
  • You also have to think that the chosen place should be easy to clean, because the solar cells need to be cleaned every so often so that the dirt does not cover them and prevent them from absorbing the radiation well.
  • Always consult with a professional before buying solar panels.

In EcologíaVerde we recommend that you go to  professional technicians of the installation of plates or solar panels to ensure good results and guarantees.

For this, we offer you information on where to buy solar panels and on companies that install these products. We recommend you consult:

WHAT SOLAR PANELS ARE AND HOW THEY WORK

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