How It Works
So how does solar power actually work?
Solar power works by converting energy from the sun into power that can be used for your home, business, church or electric powered vehicles. There are two forms of energy generated from the sun for our use – electricity and heat.
Both are generated through the use of solar panels, which range in size from residential rooftops to ‘solar farms’ stretching over acres of rural land.
Another clean energy positive for solar power is that, unlike the burning of fossil fuels, the conversion of sunlight into power creates no harmful greenhouse effects, gasses or emissions.
The carbon footprint of solar panels is already quite small, as they last for 25 years plus with minimal loss in efficiency. And the materials used in the panels are increasingly recycled, so the carbon footprint will continue to shrink as time goes on.
In 1839 and at the age of just 19, French physicist Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic (PV) effect while experimenting with a cell made of metal electrodes in a conducting solution. He noted that the cell produced more electricity when it was exposed to light – it was a photovoltaic cell.
In 1954 PV technology was born when Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson developed the silicon PV cell at Bell Labs in 1954 – the first solar cell capable of absorbing and converting enough of the sun's energy into power to run everyday electrical equipment.
Today some satellites and spacecraft orbiting Earth, are powered by solar energy.
This PV charge creates an electric current (specifically, direct current or DC), which is captured by the wiring in solar panels. This DC electricity is then converted to alternating current (AC) by an inverter. AC is the type of electrical current used when you plug appliances into normal wall sockets.
Solar PV is based on the photovoltaic effect, by which a photon (the basic unit of light) impacts a semi-conductor surface like silicon and generates the release of an electron. Solar thermal is less sophisticated and simply the direct heating of water (or other fluids) by sunlight. For domestic use, solar thermal panels are also installed on a roof facing the sun, heating water stored in a hot water cylinder and so providing hot water and heating. On a larger scale, solar thermal can also be used in power stations.
Go solar and have a piece of mind.
With Solar Info America, you have control over the experience you have with the process of going solar. No more salesmen at the door or unwanted phone calls. We offer a completely online experience where you can get and compare several solar quotes before you choose which one is best for you.
Solar Info America does all of the heavy lifting for you you no longer have to search a hundreds of webpages to find the best solar solution for your home, business or church. Solar Info America has a large network of solar installers we work with to ensure you’re getting the best equipment, installation and after installation service possible. You can literally save thousands of dollars by letting us do the comparison shopping for you.