Solar energy is one of the hottest topics in the energy market and also in the environmental market. Solar energy is a renewable energy source that offers plenty of promise as a way of generating energy for our future in a way that is cost effective and clean.
Though most people have heard of solar energy, they may still not understand exactly how it works beyond knowing that it harvests the power of the sun.
How Does Solar Energy Work?
The most popular type of solar power energy systems are those referred to as “solar pv”. PV stands for photovoltaic. Here’s how they work..
Sunlight is comprised of a group of photons, which are simply small energy particles. The material of a solar cell panel absorbs these photons as they pass through it. The solar panel contains electrons. (These solar photovoltaic cells are the panels you see located on roofs or on the ground where solar energy systems have been installed).
Essentially, the protons absorbed by the panel irritate the electrons on the panel, causing movement. This movement is routed by the system to a current, creating electricity.
Photovoltaic solar systems use wires for the purpose of conducting these electrons and the power they generate either to batteries or to an electrical system for immediate use. Most homes with solar energy systems have a large battery that stores all the excess energy produced, especially during hours of strong sunlight. This allows you to have stored energy for use during times of the day and night when there is not enough sun to generate energy for immediate use.
Solar energy is actually quite a simple way to generate power. And, because it uses only the power of the sun, it produces no emissions or waste to harm the environment. The components of a solar power system are simple and long lasting pieces. They last for years and require very little maintenance. Once you’ve paid for the initial system components and their installation, there is very little cost of upkeep. This is another reason that solar energy holds so much promise for the future.
Solar energy may seem a bit mysterious, but it’s actually a very simple system that offers lots of bang for your buck. Clean, reliable and renewable are the traits we must look for in the world’s new energy sources. And, luckily, solar energy fits all three of those bills quite nicely.