As you already know, the Sun is the biggest source of energy on our planet. The Earth receives enormous amount of energy from the Sun. The scientists have calculated that Earth receives each minute as much of energy from the Sun as a total human population uses in whole year. Of course, with currently available technologies we can only use only tiny percentage of this enormous amount of energy.
Sunlight is made of tiny energy packets called photons. A photon is a tiny particle that comprises waves of electromagnetic radiation, or in simple terms they are particles of light.
Photovoltaic panels are used to convert sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic panels consists of many solar cells. These solar cells are usually made of expensive materials such as silicon, which explains why photovoltaic panels are still connected with relatively high costs.
Each individual solar cell is designed with a positive and negative layer to create an electric field (like the one in batteries). As photons are absorbed in the cell their energy causes electrons to get free, and they move to the bottom of the cell, and exit through the connecting wire which creates electricity (flow of electrons). The greater intensity of the light means the greater the flow of electrons, and the more electricity gets produced.
By combining many of these individual solar cells into photovoltaic panels we can produce enough energy to power our homes, heat water, or for any other purpose.
It is relatively easy to install photovoltaic panels on your home. With enough available sunlight they will provide clean, emission free source of energy. Photovoltaic panels have no moving parts, and they operate extremely silently.
The electricity generated by photovoltaic panels is direct current. By installing an inverter you convert this direct current into alternating current so it’s in sync with mains electricity, and can be used normally.
It is also important to know that the amount of energy coming from the Sun varies depending on your location. What this means is that with current solar technology costs, installing photovoltaic panels doesn’t result in equal economic viability in all parts of the world, though this could change in years to come with further developments in technology and science.
Science is working hard to create cheaper and more efficient photovoltaic panels, and many scientist look at solar energy as the main source that will power the world in future.