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American Sentry Solar By American Sentry Solar • February 4, 2016

How Do Solar Panels Work?

One of the most common questions  from homeowners who're interested in solar is: "How do solar panels actually work?"  Depending on who you may ask or the research you do on your own, you may be left with a very scientific explanation or a vague one that doesn't fully answer your question.  The goal of this post is to answer a very common question in layman terms so everyone is able to understand how solar panels work.


 How do solar panels work

 

I'm sure by now you've seen plenty of solar panels on top of your neighbors roofs and various other Maryland homes.  As many more homeowner's become aware of the possibilities and opportunities presented by installing solar panels such as clean energy and drastically reducing electric bills.  At the height of their solar intrigue many homeowner's ask themselves "How do solar panels work?". 

According to Live Science, "a solar panel works by allowing photons, or particles of light, to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity.  Solar panels actually comprise many, smaller units called photovoltaic cells.  (Photovoltaic simply means they convert sunlight into electricity.)  Many cells linked together make up a solar panel."

 A photovoltaic cell is comprised of silicon that is manufactured into a negative or positive charge.  The bottom layer of silicon produces a positive charge while the top layer produces a negative charge.  When sunlight hits the panels it creates electricity between the silicon.  Metal plates on the sides of  panels allow electricity to flow through the wiring thus creating a pathway to power your home.  An inverter is then used to properly transfer the electricity so it can be used for household appliances such as your TV, computer, etc.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about how solar works.  If you would like to learn more about solar please check out our  FREE "Guide to Solar" below!

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