Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Business & Finance
  3. Personal Finance

How Does Solar Energy Work?

See also

Solar energy is a form of radiation from sunlight. It is renewable and earth-friendly. At present, solar energy is used in various devices and facilities. To understand and appreciate this type of energy, you need to know exactly how it works.

Devices and equipment using solar energy include a set of components known as photovoltaic cells. This is the main element enabling the item to be powered by solar energy. Photovoltaic cells are grouped together to form modules to generate the exact amount of energy.

Photovoltaic cells, or PV cells, are made of silicon. This material is used to make semi-conductors. When the photovoltaic cells are exposed to sunlight, the semi-conductors in them absorb a certain amount of sunlight. The absorbed sunlight is then converted into electricity.

The main factor that causes the transformation is brought about by the energy that knocks electrons loose on the cell's semi-conductors causing them to flow. Negatively-charged particles or electrons in motion will then be pulled by an electric field. An electric current is produced when there are enough electrons flowing to a specific direction. The photovoltaic cells in turn use the electric current to power the devices.

Apart from silicon, photovoltaic cells also include the following parts:
Cover glass - This protects the cell from the elements while allowing sunlight to hit the silicon.

Anti reflective coating - This reduces reflection and enable the silicon to absorb more sunlight.

Contact grid - This accepts the electricity and transports it to a wire connected to the devices.

Solar energy is relatively more expensive than other energy types as finally noted. However, extensive research is being done to make it more cost-effective.

Advertisement