How solar panels work

How Solar Panels Work

Among the most common renewable energy sources, solar energy is one of the most popular. In fact, they are the new future. With the increase in population, there has been a massive increase in demand for electricity. The primitive sources of electricity alone cannot meet up with the ever-growing needs, and we the people cannot pay the enormous increase in rate.

Solar energy is referred to as the energy generated by harnessing the solar radiation obtained from the Sun. Large-sized panels known as “solar panels” use photoelectric cells to convert Sun’s radiating rays into electrical energy stored in a battery. Solar energy is considered one of the cleanest sources of energy.

This article will give you a understanding on how solar panels work and their significances in various surroundings. So let’s get started.

How does a solar panel work?

The primary criterion to set up a solar panel system in your home is to place them at a height to absorb the maximum amount of sun rays to activate the photoelectric cells. The necessary steps involved in solar energy generation are:

  1. The sun rays, when struck the panels, they create an electrical field.
  2. The generated electricity flows through narrow wires which are located at the borders of the panel.
  3. The electricity slips down into a device through the wires where it is converted from Direct Current to Alternate Current, known as an inverter. AC is the form of the current used to run appliances in homes.
  4. The inverter contains another conductive wire that transports the AC to the breaker box from where the entire property receives the electricity.
  5. The excess electricity flows back through a meter called the utility meter, and when it flows through, it runs in the reverse direction. The electricity then gets stored in an electric grid.

How do small solar panels work?

Small solar panels are small in dimensions and made of silicon and other semiconductor materials.

The functioning mechanism of mini panels is like large panels. They capture the sun rays and generate electricity, and transfer the electricity through wires to inverters. The inverters provide services to different properties, and the remaining power flows back to the utility box.

Specific features of mini panels are:

  1. The voltage almost remains constant, but the current is subjected to change based on the acquired amount of sunlight.
  2. The power generation capacity of mini solar panels is between 0.06- 4 watts.
  3. They are used for those houses that have limited space, and they can operate smaller appliances.

We are now acquainted how solar panels work, but have you ever thought about how does the Sun produce energy?

The Sun is the only source of solar energy, as the very name suggests. Every day the Sun emits a massive amount of energy. The most added advantage of solar energy is that it a renewable source of energy.

The process of generation of energy is called nuclear fission. At the core of the Sun, high temperature and pressure separate the electrons from a hydrogen atom’s nuclei. The hydrogen nuclei then fuse to form a helium atom. As a consequence of the fission, radiant energy is released. Only a small portion of the total energy reaches Earth. The energy is still enormous. Sun’s energy in an hour is more than what the United States can use in a year.

The radiant energy generated by Sun can take nearly 1 50,000 years to travel from the core to the surface of the Sun. It takes only 8 minutes to reach Earth, which is 93 million miles away from the surface.

Advantages of solar energy:

  • They are safe, clean, and easy to operate.
  • They are highly reliable.
  • The maintenance cost is significantly less.
  • They are flexible in the functioning and can be extended to meet a more considerable need.

Solar panels for home work

Their features

It is a renewable source and can be generated domestically.

The primary feature of a solar panel system for home is to generate maximum electricity to fulfill all the home needs. The form of energy must be alternate current that is accepted by most of the home-based appliances. Traditionally, all devices run on alternate current like AC, computers, refrigerators, mixers, TVs, ceiling and stand fans, music systems, and many more. Let’s learn how much power does a solar panel produce:

The parts required to set up home based panels:

  • Home based solar panels can generate on an average 300 watts if exposed to sun for 1 hour. If the sizes of the panels are small you might require more in number. 10 hours of constant sunlight can help you to generate 3kWh energy.
  • The most important part of the system is chargeable batteries. The batteries are charged by solar energy, and they even store the excess energy of the day.
  • An inverter is also used to convert the direct form of current obtained from sunlight to AC.
  • Cables are also equally required to interconnect all the home appliances with the source for channelizing the current to them.


So, by now, you would have got an idea about how solar panels work and how the energy generated from the Sun is ultimately used to run devices present in your homes. Solar panels are indeed the new future due to their innumerable advantages. Invest in solar panels today to zero your future electric bills.

Author: Kristin Klane

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