As of today, around 4% of electricity in the United States comes from solar energy, which is an incredible 80 times its share from just a decade ago. This percentage is growing all the time; last year, a new solar project was completed in the US every 60 seconds. The current solar capacity here stands at more than 121 gigawatts, with a further 300 gigawatts expected to be installed in the next decade.
If you are planning to make the switch to solar, it’s worth understanding exactly how solar energy is produced using solar panels. In this blog post, we will take a look at the science behind solar energy and share some of the main benefits of installing a residential solar panel system.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels are comprised of a number of different components which work in tandem with each other. These components include:
- Photovoltaic cells
- Metal frame
- Glass casing
Typically, solar panels are installed on roofs. Roofs are unused spaces that are free from obstructions such as shade which can reduce the efficiency of solar panels. In the US, it is recommended that you install your solar panels in a south-facing direction for maximum output.
Each of the aforementioned photovoltaic cells acts as a semiconductor wafer with both a positively charged and a negatively charged layer. When photons from the sun hit these cells, they are energized and this creates an electric field. Within each of these semiconductor wafers, loose electrons are set into motion. This, in turn, creates an electric current.
Next, the inverter comes into play. This piece of equipment converts the direct current electricity into useable alternating current electricity. The reality is that solar panels are easy to operate and require very little maintenance.
What Are the Benefits of Solar Energy
For most homeowners interested in installing solar panels on their properties, the primary reason is to save money on energy bills. Over the 25-plus-year lifespan of solar panels, homeowners stand to save tens of thousands of dollars. Solar panels also pair excellently with electric vehicles and using solar energy is more affordable for charging than grid electricity and public charging stations.
Another key benefit of solar energy is that is environmentally friendly. In comparison to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, solar panels do not create any greenhouse gases. They also help us to reduce water usage, air pollution, and a property’s carbon footprint.
Be sure to check out Blue Raven Solar if you are interested in learning more about these solar energy benefits.
Your Guide to How Solar Energy Is Produced
Solar energy is becoming more and more mainstream, thanks in large part to falling installation costs. If you are interested in making the switch to solar power, we recommend that you speak to a professional and experienced solar installer near you.
Like this blog post on how solar energy is produced? Be sure to check out our other informative articles on a wide range of interesting topics.