More and more Australian homeowners are looking at solar panels as the answer to a cost-effective clean energy source, and as technology has empowered us to create super-efficient panels, solar energy is becoming very popular. So, how do a collection of solar panels turn sunlight into electricity? In this article we will explain the principles behind solar power, with the aim of helping you to gain a deeper understanding of solar technology.
The Chemical Reactions
Solar panels allow photons of light to interact with atoms, which displaces electrons and that creates electricity. By sandwiching two layers of silicone, a photovoltaic cell is created, and many of these make up a solar panel.
Creating an Electrical Field
Silicon is used with other materials to create a sandwich where opposite charges are separated, and the top layer of silicon is seeded with phosphorous, which adds extra negative electrons to that area. Boron is used on the bottom layer and that results in fewer electrons, thus creating a positive charge, and when an electron is knocked free, it is put out into the silicon area and then heads off to the battery via wires. If you look at a typical Sydney solar panel installation, you would notice several metal components on the sides of the panels, which are there to contain the charge as it is created, and the panels should always be in the sunlight, never in the shade.
Deep Cycle Batteries
Lithium-iron batteries are the best with regard to storing solar panel energy, and the batteries running in series can store as much energy as the system produces, and with the right mobile phone app, you can analyse the efficiency of your panels by compiling the data. It is important to measure and monitor the amount of electricity you are generating, and the number of panels and batteries you would need would depend on the amount of power you need.
Ultra-Thin Solar Cells
Engineers have been able to build solar panels that are flexible and just over one micron thick. That is around 1/100th of the width of a human hair, which is extremely thin, and these cells are very efficient indeed. This technology is now being utilised with domestic solar panel installations, and even on cloudy days, you will be generating electricity, which wouldn’t have been the case 5 years ago.
Reliable and Long-Lasting
The latest generation of solar panels are reliable and will stand the test of time, and with lithium-iron deep cycle batteries, you can safely store the energy until you are ready to use it. The panels are the result of many years of R&D into finding the most efficient combination of variables to give maximum output, and you can expect to enjoy many years of trouble-free use.
If you would like to learn more about solar panels and the costs, search online for a leading Australian solar panel supplier, and they would be happy to answer any questions you may have. They can quote for a range of systems, and once you make the switch to clean energy, you’ll wonder what took you so long!