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Science Of Solar And How Does it Work?
Science of solar

Science Of Solar And How Does it Work?

Published on:
November 2, 2023
Solar energy’s popularity is no surprise to anyone anymore. P.V.s have reached many households, even in the most rural areas. Australia is taking the utmost advantage of the possibilities of solar.
Solar energy’s popularity is no surprise to anyone anymore. P.V.s have reached many households, even in the most rural areas. Australia is taking the utmost advantage of the possibilities of solar.
As solar reaches every home, people are getting more interested in the science behind solar. Therefore, we have taken the liberty to explain the science of solar and how it works. Let’s get into it then, shall we?

How Does Solar Energy Function?

The science behind solar power is amazing. Solar energy generates electricity by converting the sun’s energy. The sun generates two types of energy, which are electricity and heat. Both are produced using solar panels, ranging in size from residential rooftops to “solar farms” spanning acres of rural land.
The sun functions as a natural nuclear reactor in the solar system. It emits photons, which are tiny portions of energy that travel 149.6 million kilometers to our Earth. It travels for about 8.5 minutes. When photons strike a solar cell, they dislodge electrons from their atoms.
A solar panel comprises multiple cells, and multiple panels can be attached together to form a solar array. The more panels you can install, the more energy you can generate. An electrical circuit is created when conductors are connected to a cell’s positive and negative sides. When electrons flow through such a circuit, electricity is produced.
Every hour, enough photons collide with our planet to generate power. It is enough to meet the world’s energy needs for an entire year!
Solar system entirely depends on the Sun
Solar panels convert sunlight into D.C. (direct current) electricity when the sun shines. The solar inverter converts this electricity into A.C. (alternating current) power for use in your home. Instead of drawing power from the power grid, your home appliances like fridges, ovens, heat pumps, dishwashers, heaters, and so on.
Any excess electricity generated by solar panels not used by appliances is returned to the grid or used to charge a solar battery. Also, excess electricity can be transferred back to the main electricity grid. Electricity retailers are charged a feed-in tariff for any electricity returned to the grid.
A smart monitor tracks solar records such as electricity generation, consumption, and export. In addition, it can provide data for electricity billing.
Although it’s not a requirement, according to Clean Energy Council, solar systems work best when positioned on the north-facing side. Considering average Australian structures, the panels get better exposure to enough sunlight on the north side. The panels get power without disruption, shaded by trees, power lines, or other structures.

Fundamentals of Photovoltaics

You’ve probably already heard of P.V. These are famously used in solar panels. Whenever the sun shines on a solar panel, the P.V. cells in the solar panels absorb energy. This energy generates electrical charges that move in response to an internal electric field in the cell. As a result, the flow of electricity is maintained.
P.V. solar panels comprise solar cells packaged in various types of glass. Solar cells, like semiconductors, are made of silicon. They contain a positive and a negative layer that works together to form an electric field, much like a battery.
Most solar panels are covered in aerospace-grade conductive adhesives and proprietary substances to protect these cells. The process also minimizes degradation from environmental exposure.

Looking Back at Solar

Humans used solar energy as early as the seventh century B.C. They used sunlight to light fires by reflecting the sun’s rays onto shiny objects. Later, in the third century B.C., the Greeks and Romans used mirrors to harness solar power to light torches for religious ceremonies. 

A 19-year-old French physicist, Edmond Becquerel, discovered the photovoltaic (P.V.). He was actively working on it while experimenting with a cell made of metal electrodes in a conducting solution in 1839. He noticed that when the cell was exposed to light, it produced more electricity. Later, it became a photovoltaic cell. 

Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson created the silicon P.V. cell at Bell Labs in 1954, the first solar cell capable of absorbing and converting enough of the sun’s energy to power standard electrical equipment. 

And now, to everyone’s surprise, satellites, and spacecraft are powered by solar energy! 

Enough about Solar! What Exactly are Solar Farms?

Solar farms are solar parks or fields. These are large areas of land with interconnected solar panels spread across many acres to harvest large amounts of solar energy. Solar farms can simultaneously power a single home or building. And large-scale solar farms are designed to feed electricity generation directly into the grid.

Is Solar Truly a Green Energy Source?

Science behind solar function is quite amazing
Yes, solar energy is a renewable and infinite energy source that produces no harmful greenhouse gas emissions – energy is released as long as the sun shines.
Solar panels have a low carbon footprint because they last for 25 years or more without losing efficiency. Furthermore, because the materials used in the panels are increasingly recycled, the carbon footprint will continue to decrease.

But Can Solar Panels Provide Power at Night?

Technically, Solar panels do not generate electricity at night. To generate electricity, photovoltaic cells in solar panels require sunlight. But the bright side is, solar panels do provide two indirect solutions for nighttime energy.
You can continue to benefit from their energy production after the sun goes down. By using solar battery storage and net metering, your tension for not being able to use solar power at night goes away. So, how do solar panels work at night? The answer is solar storage and net metering. These are the two possible indirect routes.
Solar energy is transforming how we power our lives. Electric grid net metering and solar battery storage allow the solar system to provide power when your solar panels are unused. Giving you comfort around the clock. 

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