How do solar panels work?


How do solar panels work? It’s a commonly accepted form of generating electricity, but this question is often asked. Well in this post we aim to help you get a better understanding of how solar panels actually work!


A little history


Before we explain how the panels work we thought an explanation of how they came to fruition would be quite interesting. As many will have grown up around lots of solar panels but may not know just how far back the technology goes.

Believe it or not, the development of solar technology started in the 1860’s as a result of dwindling and eventual total consumption of coal supplies. This prompted a man named Charles Fritts to install the world’s first solar array on a New York rooftop in 1884. In the early 20th century coal and oil gained further dominance of the energy market as more sources were found and economies around the world grew. Prompting an increase of the availability of oil and coal for more countries. 

After 1884 it didn’t take off again until the 1990’s. The middle of this decade saw an acceleration in residential and commercial rooftop solar. By the end of the decade policies like the UK’s feed-in-tariff facilitated rapid developments of solar PV deployment around Europe.

Currently, solar has moved from popular in Europe to a massive industry in Asia. The shift has also occurred in other major countries around the world but countries like China and India have stood out as titans in the solar industry.  




How do solar panels work?


Solar panels are very common throughout the UK, but most people are unsure as to how they work! That’s why we wanted to make this post and explain exactly how they generate electricity! 


Essentially they take the energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. This is all possible with photovoltaic cells. These cells are placed between semi-conducting materials that create an electric field. When sunlight hits these cells they energise and create a current to produce an electric field.
Once the electricity has been generated it needs to be converted to alternating current as the electricity generated within the solar panels is direct current. The transfer occurs when the direct current passes through an inverter. The power can then be transferred to the national grid and used!


Are you interested in green energy?