Solar panels may look simple to the naked eye, but how does something this thin convert sunlight into energy? To find out, let’s dig into the process of how electricity is produced using solar energy?
Solar energy is gaining ground over the past few years. It is a step ahead towards a clean energy future. Amazingly, the sunlight is available in abundance, so you can harness this energy and convert it into electric power. Further, the sun gives us far more energy than we need to power everything on earth.
The increasing demand for solar energy is encouraging more people to install solar panels at homes. However, it is ideal to note that producing electricity from solar power is not an easy-breezy task. The electricity production hugely depends on the efficiency of your solar panel.
Before exploring the functioning of solar panels, let’s take a sneak peek into several factors that can impact your solar electricity production.
Factors That Impact Solar Electricity Production are:
- Seasonality: Solar energy production varies between days and months. A cloudy day will not be as productive as a sunny summer day. Therefore, it’s essential to focus on the year-round picture for better electricity production.
- Tilt: Solar panels can benefit from good tilting. The direction your home is facing, its location, and even your roof’s pitch significantly impact how well a solar panel will work. Ideally, the solar panel should be at the same angle as the latitude where they are mounted.
- Azimuth: From where the sunlight arises is what determines the solar azimuth angle.
- It is estimated that the wrong azimuth angle could reduce the energy output of a solar home panel by up to 35%. An azimuth of zero-facing is usually the best choice to produce maximum solar electricity.
Therefore, with solar panels, your rooftop can generate your own power and give you energy freedom. But have you ever looked at your solar panels on the roof and wondered exactly what they do?
Well, these high-tech panels work in an efficient way to harness the sun’s renewable energy to deliver electricity to the home within. To know about how electricity is produced using solar energy, we have come up with a guide.
Step-by-step Guide on How Solar Energy Is Converted into Electricity?
Step 1: Sunlight Activates the Panels
The process of electricity generation begins when sunlight travels about 93 million miles and falls on the solar panels. Each panel is made of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, and wiring.
The photovoltaic cells convert light into electric current using the photovoltaic effect. The panels are grouped into “arrays” and are placed on rooftops for maximum impact. After that, the solar cells absorb sunlight during day hours to activate the panels.
Step 2: Cells Produce Electrical Current
Solar cells consist of thin semiconductor wafers made from two layers of silicone. One layer of the solar cell is positively charged, and the other one is negatively charged to form an electric current.
When the energy from the sun strikes a photovoltaic solar cell, it causes electrons to become loose within the semiconductor wafer. Those electrons are set in motion by the electric field surrounding the wafer. Hence, this motion creates an electric current.
Step 3: The Electrical Energy is Converted
You now have solar panels working efficiently to transform sunlight into electricity. However, the electricity generated is called direct current electricity, which is not the type of electricity that powers most homes. Hence, the next step is to convert DC electricity into AC electricity.
Fortunately, an inverter can easily change DC electricity into AC electricity. In modern solar panels, these inverters can be combined as one inverter for the entire solar panel system.
Step 4: Converted Electricity Powers Your Home
The converted solar energy runs through your electrical panel and is distributed to power your appliance within the home. It works the same way as the electrical power generated through the grid by your electric utility company.
Step 5: A Net Meter Measure Usage
On cloudy days and at night, you may not be able to capture enough sunlight. However, in the middle of the day, they may collect surplus energy to operate your home.
That is why a meter is used to measure electricity flowing in both directions – to and from your home. In addition, your utility company will often provide credits for any surplus power you send back to the grid. This is known as net-metering.
In this way, solar energy helps in the production of electricity.
Why Choose Aus-Brite Solar?
At Aus-Brite Solar, we offer clean energy solutions to all the households in Australia. You can get the best solar panels in NSW based on your energy needs.
If you are planning to install solar panels, connect with us right away