Learning The Way Solar Energy Functions

ByLincoln Gartrell

The fact that plants can use sunlight to sustain themselves can seem nearly magical, but recently humankind has developed its own system to work with solar energy. We've progressed far beyond using the sun to simply heat things. Solar energy systems, also called photovoltaic systems, can generate electricity to allow people to run home appliances with solar panels. This is a great option for many individuals not only to save money, but to avoid releasing dangerous emissions in our environment. But how does solar energy work?

The word "photovoltaic" can be split into two parts, with "photo" meaning light, and "voltaic" referencing volts, which are units of electrical force. Putting them together, you get electricity generated by light. Solar panels consist of photovoltaic chips that use this process to create energy for homes. PV chips are almost always made of the material silicon which is a semiconductor, meaning it has a good capacity to release energy when light strikes its surface. This allows for solar panels to easily create energy for a directed purpose within the full scheme of a solar energy system.

The photovoltaic cells in a solar energy system use two layers of semiconductors in order to excite electrons. One layer of cells is positively charged and the other negatively, and so tension is created between them and volts are generated. This is all well and good, but the electricity made when the sun hits a solar panel is in the form of direct current, or DC energy. To change this into something that will be compatible with a normal 240V home appliance, it needs to be changed into alternating current (AC) energy using an inverter.

AC energy tends to be more effective than DC energy. Electrons only flow in one direction with DC energy. With AC energy, electrons continually switch directions in the electrical current, which allows it to be safer (since different amounts of power can be transmitted), and travel longer distances without losing any energy. As described, solar energy systems can generate electricity with an inverter, but they can be supplemented by a city's electricity grid. If you are unable to meet your electrical requirements with solar energy alone, then the grid can provide you with additional electricity for you to seamlessly continue everyday living. Better yet, if you can provide all of your own electricity and still have some left over, it will be fed into the grid and the city will compensate you with cash for the extra energy you've provided.

It's clear to see that the benefits of a solar power system are extensive, and the science behind them is simple and efficient. In case you find the possibility of setting up a solar energy system on your own to be a little overwhelming, many professionals are around to help out with getting a solar energy system installed on your home. In the long term solar panel technology will only grow more sophisticated, and more ways will be found to enhance the usage and amount of electricity people are able to generate. By committing to solar energy and finding out how it can support you, you will be on your way to lowering energy bills and creating a healthier future.

He is an Environmentalist and Energy Conservation Advocate which has a wonderful advocacy in propagating the information about the positive aspects and uses of Solar and Green Energy as a replacement to the traditional resource of energy.

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