A clean, alternative source of energy is becoming more urgent. The growing use of solar energy has been propelled by the declining cost of installing solar panels and easy maintenance.
Solar panels are made of a multitude of solar cells, which have the ability to convert radiant energy from the sun to electrical energy. The conversion of solar energy to electrical energy is known as the photovoltaic effect.
How Does Photovoltaic Effect Work?
Silicon is the preferred material for the construction of solar cells. This is a nonmetal element that is highly suitable for the conduction of heat and electricity. Silicon is mixed (or doped) with other materials during the design of a solar panel. This is done to ensure there is a nonuniform concentration of electrons in the silicon block.
The constituent particles of sunlight are known as photons. Each photon carries some amount of energy with it when traveling to the earth’s surface. When the photons present in sunlight come into contact with the solar cells embedded in a solar panel, they transfer their energy to the silicon atoms.
The outer orbit electrons of silicon get energized and separate out from their orbit. These electrons flow through a circuit, with the help of conducting plates attached on either side. This flow of electrons makes up the current.
This process produces DC current (direct current), whereas electrical appliances require AC current (alternating current); an inverter is used to perform this conversion. The inverter converts the DC current to 120-volt AC current that can be used to heat or cool a home as well as power a variety of gadgets and appliances.