Solar panels are an increasingly popular way to generate electricity. They’re safe, effective, great for the environment and can save you money on your energy bills. But how do solar panels actually work?
Solar panels are made up of individual solar cells. These cells are made of semiconductor materials like silicon. When the sun’s energy hits the cell, it generates free electrons from silicon atoms. These free-flowing electrons are captured by metal conductors, creating an electric current. This current can then be harnessed to power homes and businesses.
Solar companies in Idaho Falls (and surrounding areas) like ELIO Solar can get you started on the path to solar energy. We offer a variety of services, including solar panel installation and maintenance. Give us a call today to learn more!
How Do Solar Panels Use The Photoelectric Effect?
The above process is a brief explanation of what is scientifically called the “photoelectric effect”. Let’s take a look at this in more detail and how this process actually works.
Solar panels use the photoelectric effect to generate electricity via energy from the sun. The photoelectric effect occurs when light hits a material and causes electrons to be knocked loose from the atoms of that material. When this happens, the electrons flow freely and can be captured by metal conductors, creating an electric current.
Solar panels are made of materials that allow them to take advantage of the photoelectric effect. In this case, the semiconductor material that is silicon in the photovoltaic cells lends itself well to this purpose because its electrons are relatively easily excited by light.
This is what makes solar panels a source of renewable energy — as long as there is sunlight, they will continue to produce electricity.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
Solar panels are built to last for many years — the standard lifetime for most solar panel systems is 20 to 25 years. However, it is not uncommon for solar panels to last much longer than that. In fact, there are some solar panels that have been in operation for over 40 years with no significant degradation in performance.
How Much Electricity Do Solar Panels Produce?
The amount of electricity that solar panels generate depends on a number of factors, including the size of the panels, the size of the solar system itself, the amount of sunlight it receives and the efficiency of the solar cells.
Solar panels come in a variety of sizes, but the most common size is about 3-5 feet. A typical solar panel produces about 250-400 watts of electricity.
You can use our solar calculator to determine how much electricity your solar panel system is likely to produce, as well as your overall solar panel cost.
How To Install Solar Panels
Installing solar pv panels is a big job and should be left to the professionals.
ELIO Solar will handle every aspect of your solar installation, from start to finish.
We will help you choose the right size system for your needs, obtain all the necessary permits, and schedule and coordinate a time for installation that is convenient for you.
Once your solar panels are installed, we will provide you with a comprehensive training so that you can be confident in operating your new system.
If you have any questions about how solar panels work, or if you are interested in having solar panels installed at your home or business, please contact us today. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you get started with solar power.