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Solar Panels

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Solar Panels

Solar PanelsSolar panels are the common name for an array of photovoltaic cells grouped together to produce electricity. Photovoltaic cells are made from thin wafers of silicone. There is a small gap between two layers, one layer is called the p-layer and allows positively charge electrons to escape but contains no charge. The other is called the n-layer and allows negative ions to escape and also contains no charge.

When sunlight strikes a solar panel, it charges the layers and adds electrons. At the small gap between the p and n layers, called the p-n junction, the extra electrons are released providing an electrical load. If a wire is connected to the panels, electricity will flow from it while sunlight is striking. The wire provides a path for the electrons, otherwise they would be lost to the atmosphere and be useless except for heat energy.

Installing solar panels can be expensive, but there are many incentive programs offered by the government and other environmental protection groups to help reduce the costs. Solar panels have been constantly if not slowly been increasing in efficiency, which should allow more people to afford panels to power their homes and business and eventually vehicles. Once installed solar panels offer an almost maintenance free, low cost energy source.

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