How Do Solar Panels Work? – Briefly Explained

As the prices of electricity have majorly spiked, and technology has advanced, more and more people have started to look for an alternative source of energy.

Solar energy is one of the best options available.

Sun is a natural nuclear reactor that produces free energy for our houses and offices.

It throws enough heat in one hour to satisfy all the global energy needs for an entire year. this energy is called photovoltaic energy.

Solar panels are used to bring that energy into use.

But the question is how do Solar Panels work?

We are going to break that down for you in this article.

When sunlight hits the solar panel the atoms in the solar panels lose their electrons.

If any conductors are attached to the panels, they form an electric circuit, they generate DC current.

To convert this DC current to AC current, an inverter is attached to them, then this energy flows from the home electrical circuit and is distributed accordingly. The more solar panels you install, the more energy you can expect to be produced.

What are the major steps in the working of solar panels for your house:

  • Photovoltaic cells absorb the sun’s energy and convert it to DC electricity
  • The inverter converts DC electricity from your solar panels to AC electricity, which is supported by most home appliances
  • Electricity flows through your home, powering electronic devices
  • Excess power produced by solar panels is fed to the electric grid

How Do Solar Panels Work

Solar panels, also know as solar cells are made of layers of silicon, a metal frame, a glass panel and various wirings to allow the current to flow through the solar panel.

Silicon is a nonmetal material with conductive properties which absorbs sunlight to generate electric current. When the light falls on the silicon panels, it brings the electrons to move, resulting in the production of electricity. This process is known as the photovoltaic effect.

Photovoltaic Effect

The photovoltaic effect is a process that generates an electric current in a photovoltaic cell when it’s exposed to sunlight.

It is this effect that makes solar panels useful, as it is how the cells within the panel convert sunlight to electrical energy.

The photovoltaic effect was first discovered in 1839 by Edmond Becquerel. When doing experiments involving wet cells, he noted that the voltage of the cell increased when its silver plates were exposed to the sunlight.

Working of Photovoltaic Effect:

  • Solar Panels absorbs the radiation energy of the sun.
  • The electrons begin to move in the cell, resulting in the generation of energy.
  • This generated energy is in the form of DC, which has to be converted to AC for use in houses.

How Do Solar Inverters Work?

A solar inverter is like a brain of the system, Its converts DC energy into AC energy. Along with converting DC energy into AC energy, It also shows the stats of the circuit and ground fault protection.

It also shows voltage and current on AC and DC circuits, the amount of energy being produced and maximum power point tracking.

Central inverters have dominated the market for a long time.

But with the introduction of microinverters, they can work for individual panels instead of working with the whole solar system.

Resulting in more efficient power generation. It enables the solars panels to work at their maximum potential.

Another disadvantage of using a central inverter is that In case of failure in a single panel, It can bring down the performance of the entire system.

Which is not the case with micro inverters, that is why they are more efficient.

What If I Use Less Electricity Than Produced

What happens if you are not using electricity produced by your solar panels?

Don’t worry, even if you are not at home and your panels are still generating energy, you will benefit from this.

There’s a concept called net metering, if you are generating more energy, it will be sent back to the power grid and you will get rewarded for generating extra energy.

Isn’t that great?

The amount of energy generated by these panels will ensure the recover of installation costs in as early as 5-7 years.


Prices of Solar panels have dropped 70% in the last decade.

With this decrease in price, the use of solar technology has become a more practical option.

With a massive dip in solar panel costs, it is a completely practical option for saving money and making a greener planet.

It can also give you incentives with incentives if you don’t consume all the electricity produced by the solar panels as it will go back to the power grid.

We think that’s a great plus point for considering this green alternative.

The amount of savings and efficiency totally depends on how you implement this technology in your life.

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