How solar energy is converted into electricity converted
The crucial role of solar Panels
Solar panels are responsible for generating electricity and in most cases they are located on the roof of any building. Hence it is through these solar panels where the real story begins and solar energy gets converted into electricity. These solar panels also known as the modules are usually southern faced for maximum potential and electricity production.
Each of these solar panels is made up of a special layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glassed casing which is further surrounded by special film and wiring. For maximum electricity production, the solar panels are arranged together into "arrays". This through these solar cells also known as photovoltaic cells, where the sunlight is absorbed during the daylight hours.
Conversion of absorbed solar energy into electrical energy
- Photovoltaic meaning light and electricity and hence installing these solar cells or photovoltaic cells is the first initial step to convert solar energy.
- Each Solar cell has a thin semiconductor wafer which is made up of two layers of silicon. Now silicon is a naturally occurring chemical element, one of the greatest semiconductors. Silicon semiconductors can act as both conductors as well as insulators.
- One silicon layer is positively charged known as the N-type and the other silicon layer is negatively charged known as the P-type. N-type gives away electrons easily while on the other side P-side semiconductor receives the extra electrons in the electric field. This positive and negative layer hence compliments the formation of an electric field on the solar panel.
- We all know that energy from the sun comes on the earth in the form of little packets called photons When the sunlight strikes these photovoltaic cells already forming an electric field, the photons of sunlight startle the electrons inside these cells activating them to start flowing.
- These loose electrons that start flowing on the electric field further create the electric current.
How electrical energy gets converted for usage
The electrical energy which we get from the solar energy through the photovoltaic cells is normally known as the Direct current (DC) electricity. But this direct current electricity cannot be used to power homes and buildings, therefore to utilize this generated electrical energy, we need to convert it into Alternating current (AC) electricity.
Further to convert Direct current into alternating current special solar inverters need to be installed. In modern solar systems, these investors can be configured as one of the inverters for the entire system, or micro-mini inverters need to be attached behind the panels. The inverter turns DC electricity to 120 volts AC that can be further put into immediate use for the home appliances. The power produced by solar energy initially passes through the electrical panel in your home and then passes out into the electric grid. When in the case your solar plant is generating more electricity than your immediate consumption, your utility meter will turn backward.
Once your DC gets converted to AC, the current then runs through your electrical panel installed in your home and hence supplies power to all the home appliances. The electricity generated in the solar power system is the same power generated through the grid by your electric utility company; therefore no changes in the home are required to get power from solar energy.