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Science of renewable energy – understanding solar panels

Solar panels are an option for generating renewable energy with the increasing awareness of the need to shift towards sustainable energy sources, understanding how solar panels work and their benefits is crucial. Solar panels are composed of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity. These cells are made up of silicon semiconductor compounds, which is allowed them to absorb photons from sunlight. When these photons hit the surface of the silicon, they knock electrons off the atoms in the silicon. This creates an electric field across the cell causing electrons to flow in one direction. The flow of these electrons creates direct current electricity before being sent through an inverter that converts it into alternating current electricity.

  1. Reduced Electricity Bills- By generating your electricity through solar panels significantly reduce your monthly electricity bills.
  2. Environmentally Friendly- Unlike traditional sources of electricity are coal or oil, using solar power does not produce any harmful emissions or pollutants is contributing to climate change.
  3. Increased Property Value- Homes with solar panel installations typically have higher property values than those without them.
  4. Energy Independence- By generating your energy become less reliant on fossil fuels and utility companies for your power needs.
  5. Job Creation- Renewable energy sources have created new job opportunities in fields such as solar panel installation and maintenance.

Factors affecting solar panel performance

Several factors affect how well a solar panel system works.

  1. Sunlight Availability- Hours of sunshine the solar panels cost receive are a critical factor in determining their efficiency. The more sun exposure they receive; the more electricity they generate.
  2. Temperature- Solar panels work best in cooler temperatures. High temperatures reduce their efficiency and output.
  3. Shading- The shade from trees or buildings significantly reduces the availability of sunlight on solar panels, negatively affecting their performance.
  4. Panel Orientation- The direction and angle at which your solar panels are installed determine how much sunlight they receive. Panels facing south and tilted at an angle equal to the geographical latitude tend to perform best.
  5. Panel Age- Solar panels may become less efficient due to wear and tear or damage caused by weather conditions.

Understanding how solar panels work and their benefits is crucial as we move towards transitioning away from traditional energy sources and towards renewable ones. Solar power has many advantages, including reduced electricity bills increased property value for energy independence, and job creation. These factors should be considered when installing a solar panel system for homes or businesses to help maximize the benefits of this renewable energy source while ensuring its longevity.  With continued advancements in technology and growing public support for renewable energy sources like solar power is clear it they are heading towards a greener future powered by clean energy sources like the sun.

Julien Zeke
the authorJulien Zeke