Photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal panels are both made of silicon. They act as semiconductors. When sunlight hits the solar power panels, some of the energy is absorbed within the semiconductor material. That energy knocks electrons within the silicon loose, allowing them to flow freely.
Once the electric fields within the panels are freed by light energy, they force electrons to flow in one specific way. This flow of electrons is also known as a current. By simply placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the solar panels, the current can be drawn off as electricity to be used externally.
Solar panels have built-in electric fields that, when combined with the current described above, will give us what we call a wattage. We use this to describe the power of each panel.
There are many very good reasons for installing solar panels. Top of the list is the huge savings you will make on your utility bills. Many people feel good that they are reducing their carbon footprint. Solar panels give out next to no carbon dioxide. Thereby, they reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1.2 million tonnes per annum.
Solar panels are most frequently fitted to the roof or along an external wall of the home. Be sure to check with the local council before doing this. The local authorities in most countries agree that it is acceptable to install solar roof panels. However, certain locations do require detailed listed criteria.
Solar power is one of the most bountiful of the possible energy supplies that we have here on Planet Earth. As the technology behind solar panels improves in terms of their efficiency, so the cost of installing them is falling. When added to a range of governmental subsidies, tax credits, rebates and grants, the widespread installation of solar panels onto the average householder's roof is becoming more and more realistic. As the prices are falling further thanks to local competition in the marketplace, so, it would seem that the future of solar panels is very bright indeed.
If you are interested to learn more on how to build solar panels, check out our website at:
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Andy O Silliven is an engineer and author in the fields of electrical engineering. He enjoys writing about the topic and keeping up with current events and research in the area of renewable energy sources.