Solar Panels – The Engine of Your System
Solar Panels are sometimes referred to as PV Panels or modules, which as the name implies (photo meaning “light” and voltaic meaning “electricity”), convert sunlight directly into electricity.
A solar panel is a group of cells connected electrically and packaged into a frame, which can then be grouped together to form a Solar PV system.
Photovoltaic cells are made of special materials called semiconductors. Basically, when light strikes the cell, a certain portion of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material. This means that the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to the semiconductor. The energy knocks electrons loose, allowing them to flow freely.
PV cells also all have one or more electric field that acts to force electrons freed by light absorption to flow in a certain direction. This flow of electrons is a current, and by placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the PV cell, CMC Energy can draw that current off for external use, say, to power a home or business.
This current, together with the cell’s voltage (which is a result of its built-in electric field or fields), defines the power (or wattage) that the solar cell can produce.
That’s the basic process !! From here it gets a bit more technical as there are three primary technologies namely mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline and thin film.