As one of the most widely used sources of renewable energy, solar power is looking like a bright way to head in the future!

But how do these solar panels actually work, and how do you get started with your own solar panels?

Keep reading to learn how solar panels work and how to get started with your own home kit!

Solar Radiation

Solar radiation is the main force behind how solar panels work. There are three kinds of solar radiation:

  • Direct radiation: Direct rays from the sun hit solar panel cells without any interruptions
  • Diffuse radiation: Rays from the sun are scattered by clouds and molecules before arriving at the solar panel
  • Reflected radiation: Sunlight that has been reflected off of something like water or snow before hitting the solar panel

Solar panels accept all of these types of energy, but the kind of energy should be taken into account to understand how much electricity will be created by the panel.

Solar Panel Types

There are three different types of solar panels:

  • Photovoltaic
  • Thermal
  • Hybrid

Different types of solar panels conduct energy in different ways. Let’s dive in.

Photovoltaic Solar Panels

Photovoltaic solar panels are generally created from silicon. Silicon is frequently used because it’s a semiconductor, but it’s also a very durable material.

  1. The photovoltaic cells absorb the direct sunlight.
  2. Electrons begin to move as the sun’s rays interact with the silicon cell.
  3. A direct flow of electric current is created.
  4. Wires capture and feed this direct current to a solar inverter.
  5. The solar inverter converts the direct current electricity into alternating current electricity, which is most frequently used by house appliances.

All of the cells work together to generate enough energy.

Thermal Solar Panels

While photovoltaic solar panels turn sunlight into energy, thermal solar panels convert sunlight directly into heat.

Similarly to the photovoltaic cells, the light is captured and interacts with the silicon to generate electricity. Instead of being converted into an alternating current, electricity is used to generate heat.

Thermal solar panels are great solutions to heating hot water.

Hybrid Solar Panels

A hybrid solar panel brings together the technologies of a photovoltaic and a thermal panel.

A photovoltaic panel loses efficiency as the temperature rises so to combat this, the hybrid panel is cooled with circulating water. The hybrid panel is more efficient than the photovoltaic panel but nevertheless the cell works well to make use of all of the sun’s energy and avoid heat waste.

Simply put, the heat energy that would have been wasted in a standard photovoltaic panel is put to work in a hybrid panel.

Get Started With Solar Panels

If you’re looking for a way to save money and the environment, consider installing solar panels on your home. Not only are they a great extra source of energy, but many electric companies can help you learn how to feed extra energy back into the system, which means you get a discount on your electric bill!

Check out these reviews on solar kits to learn more.

Do You Understand How Solar Panels Work?

We get it. Solar panels are confusing! The technology is advanced, and it’s probably been a while since high school physics class.

If you still have questions about how solar panels work, don’t hesitate to drop a comment or keep reading for more info!

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