What is a Solar Panel?

solar panel

What is a Solar Panel?

Solar panels are the large black devices that you see on roofs and other locations. These solar panels (also known as photovoltaic cells) contain silicon semiconductors that absorb sunlight and generate electricity.

They are a clean source of energy, and they do not emit greenhouse gases. However, there are several things you should know about solar power before making a decision to use it.

How They Work

The sun is a powerful energy source. It provides more energy in one hour than the world uses in a year. Solar panels convert sunlight into ac electricity to power homes and businesses. These panels can even provide heat in the winter. The process is simple – when light strikes the PV panel, electrons are knocked loose from their atoms, and when they are collected they generate an electric current.

Most PV cells are made from silicon, which is the second most abundant element on Earth’s surface. The crystalline form of the mineral holds special chemical properties, and when arranged in a PV cell, it is able to capture sunlight. Each silicon atom has 14 electrons arranged in three different shells. The first two shells are full, but the last holds only four electrons. To fill up that last shell, the atom shares its extra electrons with nearby atoms. This creates a special bond, and each atom now has four hands joining to four neighbors.

A solar panel’s output is measured in watt peak (Wp). A 1,000 Wp solar panel installed facing south at an angle of 35 degrees and not shaded will produce 850 kWh per year.

In addition to creating a direct current, solar cells are also capable of producing alternating current of about 230 V. This is accomplished through a converter that is integrated into the solar system near the panels. The conversion process is made more efficient by installing microinverters close to the solar panels.


When you switch to solar power, you’ll save money every month, right from the start. You’ll also help the environment by reducing carbon emissions. Plus, you can avoid fluctuating utility rates that are prone to price hikes.

The amount of energy a solar panel produces depends on its capacity, which is expressed in sunpower solar panels watt peak (Wp). This is the maximum electrical output under ideal conditions: solar collector facing south and cloudless sky.

Another factor is the amount of sunlight your home gets. Homeowners in sunny states typically require fewer solar panels to meet their energy needs because they receive more daily peak sun hours.

There are two types of solar panels: monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon. Monocrystalline is made of pure silicon, which makes it more expensive but results in higher energy production. Polycrystalline is made with multiple silicon fragments, which reduces manufacturing costs but decreases efficiency. Thin-film solar panels are less expensive but have the lowest energy production.

It’s important to regularly check and clean your solar panels. This will help ensure they continue to work as efficiently as possible. You may want to hire a professional cleaning service for the best results. It’s also smart to track your electricity usage and monitor your solar energy system performance. This will give you a better understanding of your consumption and savings, and allow you to make changes that maximize your benefits.


The large black solar panels that we see on homes and businesses are made of a bunch of individual cells that use silicon semiconductors to absorb sunlight and create electric current. Those individual solar cells are combined into a panel, which is then mounted on a roof or secured to the ground with a mounting system. The solar panel array is then connected to an inverter, which converts the DC electricity from the solar cells into usable AC electricity. This energy can be used to power your home or business, or it can be fed into the grid for additional credits and savings.

Using a solar panel system to generate your own electricity can save you up to 75% on your energy bill. However, the exact amount that you save will vary based on the climate in your area and your specific energy needs.

Solar system pricing varies based on the manufacturer, system size and location. On average, systems in warm states tend to have lower $/W pricing than systems in colder states. However, this is more of a wash than a true cost-by-brand difference, as system prices are generally close across manufacturers.

The other major factor in your solar installation costs is any applied incentives and rebates. solar panel manufacturer There are two primary types of incentives available to homeowners: federal and state.


Solar panels can help protect homeowners from rising electricity costs from their hydro distributor while simultaneously increasing their property value. They can also make money by selling excess power back to the utility company, as long as they follow proper maintenance procedures. Those who are interested in installing a solar panel system should consider contacting several contractors to receive quotes and compare customer reviews.

Once you’ve chosen a contractor, they’ll conduct a roof inspection and create a detailed design for your solar energy system. They’ll also assist you with applying for any available rebates or incentives. Once the design is complete, the installer will work with your local government to secure the necessary permits. This step can take some time, but your contractor should be familiar with the process and can keep you updated as it progresses.

The installation team will then begin the physical work. They’ll set up the solar racking system, which will hold your panels on the roof. They’ll then connect the racking system to your home’s electrical system. They’ll also connect the inverter, which will convert DC electricity from your solar panels into usable AC electricity for your home. Finally, they’ll connect the system to the grid and test it.

The final step is getting approval from your utility company, which is called a “permission to operate” or PTO. Once this is done, you’ll be able to switch on your solar power and start saving on your energy bills.

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