Ever wonder what those black, shiny boards are on some people’s roofs? Those are PV solar panels or photovoltaic panels. PV panels are a form of solar technology. These panels are capable of generating electricity by harnessing the sun’s energy.
Many cities and towns in the United States receive year-round sunlight. Rather than rely entirely on fossil fuels, many homeowners are recognizing that they too can obtain energy from the sun.
How do PV solar panels work?
Solar photovoltaic is a sophisticated technology. It is capable of producing electricity from the sun without using any movable parts. Within each PV cell there are small parcels of light energy, also called photons. These are captured by electrons in the PV cell. Enough energy is imparted so that it kicks electrons free from host silicon atoms.
On the upper surface of each cell lies a “one-way membrane”, called a PN Junction. This convergence point is created by spreading small amounts of phosphorous, forming a one-micrometer thin silicon wafer. When a free electron passes this junction, it is unable to turn back producing a negative voltage to form on the surface with a positive voltage on the rear. Both surfaces are joined using an external circuit so that voltage, power and current may be extracted from the cell.
Solar cells are lined behind glass to create photovoltaic modules. With the right maintenance procedures, these cells can last up to 40 years!
A typical solar panel with a collection area of up to 50m2 to power an adequate energy efficient home.
The Future of PV Solar Panels
The world solar energy market is governed by PV technology. A majority of photovoltaic panels contain crystalline silicone within their solar cells. PV technology is rapidly finding widespread use and is especially growing in remote area supplies, satellites and consumer electronics. Recently, there has been a dramatic drop in the cost of purchasing solar panels due to the immense growth in this sector. Solar PV electricity is far less expensive than commercial and domestic electricity obtained from the grid. In keeping with this pattern, we can expect the cost of PV solar panel system to decline further.
PV solar panels are an efficient way to capture and use solar energy. To learn more about how these panels work or to obtain an estimate on installing your own system, please contact PS Solar System.