If you are considering switching to a cleaner energy source, you may be wondering what solar panels are made of and how they work. This blog post will give you a basic explanation of how solar panels are constructed and how they power homes worldwide!

Panel Components and How They’re Made

Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, also referred to as solar cells, are responsible for converting sunlight into electricity. These solar cells are made up of several parts, but the most important element used in the cells is silicon. Silicon is a conductive element – when light hits a silicon cell, the electrons are set into motion and thus generate electricity. This process is called the photovoltaic effect [1].

Most panels include a glass layer on the front and a protective sheet on the back. The backsheet, which provides electrical insulation, can come in white or black.

Aluminum frames add strength to the panel while protecting the glass. They also help racking and mounting systems stay attached to the panel to keep it secure on the roof or ground.

PV cells are mass-produced and cut by lasers with extreme accuracy. Manufacturers put an emphasis on durability and strength so that the panels can withstand the weather. There is also focus on the efficiency of each PV cell. What makes each cell efficient is measured by how many electrons can be produced per square inch of silicon.

Creating Usable Electricity

Silicon is responsible for generating the electricity, but there are other components responsible for converting this energy and making it usable in your home. Solar panels generate Direct Current (DC) electricity, however most homes run on Alternating Current (AC).

In DC electricity, the electric current only flows in one direction, whereas AC current changes direction periodically. AC electricity has the advantage because voltages can be more easily transformed to higher or lower voltage levels [2].

Microinverters are mounted behind each solar panel and convert DC electricity into usable AC electricity. They are an essential part of a solar energy system and are responsible for providing your home with usable power!

The Benefits of Solar Power

It’s environmentally friendly: Sunlight is the cleanest source of energy due to its natural abundance, so solar energy has virtually no environmental impact and reduces carbon emissions.

It’s a good investment: Switching to solar energy helps homeowners save thousands on their energy bills in the long run. Solar energy systems end up paying for themselves!

You’ll receive tax credit: There are many state and federal tax incentives that you may qualify for. The federal solar tax credit allows owners of solar energy systems to deduct 30% of the cost of installation from their federal taxes. This tax incentive will start to decrease at the end of 2019, so now is the best time to make the switch!

At Momentum Solar, we take care of the entire solar energy process – from system design, engineering, permitting, installation, inspection and activation of your system. We are among the fastest-growing solar companies in the nation – give us a call today at 1-800-MOMENTUM or visit our website www.momentumsolar.com

[1] https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a28186403/how-solar-panels-work/

[2] https://www.energy.gov/articles/war-currents-ac-vs-dc-power

 

Get a Free Quote