How Solar Panels Generate Electricity

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Sunlight is an unlimited source of energy that can be used to generate electricity without harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Solar panels convert sunlight into a flow of electrical current that can be used to power anything from calculators and road signs to homes and large commercial buildings.

Top Solar Panels Ireland basic solar panel consists of a series of silicon solar cells covered by a sheet of glass and held together by a metal frame. Wiring and circuitry is embedded in and behind the cells to collect the flow of electricity that the solar cell produces when it reaches full capacity. Each solar panel is also referred to as a solar module and can be mounted on a rooftop or other surface to generate clean, renewable electricity.

Solar energy is a clean, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels that produces no harmful greenhouse gases when it is burned. The cost of solar panels has come down significantly in recent years and, combined with low electric rates and incentives, many homeowners see a return on investment on their system within seven to 12 years.

Harnessing Solar Energy: How Solar Panels Work and Why They Matter

The secret to solar technology lies in photovoltaic cells, which convert photons of sunlight into electrons. These electrons can be turned into electricity through an electronic process, and the resulting electricity is then stored in batteries or sent back to the grid. The first widespread use of photovoltaic cells was on spacecraft, and the International Space Station has two “wings” of solar cells that provide all the electricity needed to safely live in space for months at a time and conduct scientific and engineering experiments.

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