The solar panel is made up of photovoltaic cells, which are used to create electricity from sunlight. These photovoltaic cells are made up of a semiconductor material which allows electrical energy to pass through. Silicon is commonly used and phosphorous along with boron are added, which work to create conductivity and starts the electrons flowing.
The solar panel collects the energy through the photovoltaic effect. When sunlight hits the photovoltaic cells, photons, which are particles of sunlight, are absorbed. This releases an electron. The electrons create an electric current, and they move across the photovoltaic cells when activated by the sun's energy.
The solar photovoltaic panels work by collecting sunlight and converting it into DC electricity. In order to turn the direct current power to alternating current, or AC, your solar photovoltaic panels send the direct current energy to an inverter. The inverter converts DC electricity to the AC electricity you'll need to power devices within your home.
So you see, the solar panels themselves are responsible for creating electrical power by converting energy from the sun. They are only one component of your home's solar power system. However, they are sometimes the most visible, and the most easily recognized component of a solar power system.
Because they only use sunlight to make electricity, when you install solar panels, you must place them in an area which receives adequate sunlight. When deciding on placement, consider pane orientation, the pitch of your roof and the panels, and the area’s shade. Smith Sustainable Design plans your installation so your solar panels will receive the proper amount of sunlight.
Hopefully we've demystified the complicated science behind producing electricity via solar panels. If you're the type who is interested in the science behind things, we'd be happy to discuss it in more detail with you.