How Solar Power Works, and Why it Can Work for You
It is fair to say that there are few things more important than solving the energy and environmental crises that face not just Australia, but the world at large. As the limits and dangers of fossil fuels become more apparent, governments, companies, and consumers alike are looking for new solutions. Add to that the fact that traditional means of powering a home can lead to high energy bills and, thus, be quite expensive, and the incentive for homeowners to look at alternatives such as solar power becomes clear.
Even so, while we all understand that solar panels are powered by the sun, and that this leads to energy, most people don’t fully understand the ins and outs of that process, let alone what makes it so efficient and affordable.
Solar Power 101
The solar power process begins when photons from the sun’s rays hit your solar panels. These panels are made out of cells that are specially designed to catch these photons, and when they do, they are able to separate electrons from atoms. The cell is made up of positive and negative sides which, along with conductors, form an electrical circuit.
The electrons flow through this circuit, thereby producing electricity.
A solar panel is made up of several cells – thereby ensuring even more energy generation – and these different panels (or modules) can be connected together. This creates a solar array, which is what’s used to generate power for homes and businesses that employ solar energy.
This is especially true of Photovoltaic, or VP solar panels. They are made of many silicon solar cells, which function like semiconductors. These panels, cells, and arrays are constructed with positive and negative layers, which function like a battery.
Depending on the model, these units can generate Direct Current or Alternating Current electricity. DC electricity means the electrons flow in a single direction around the circuit, while in AC electricity the electrons operate in multiple directions. AC electricity is used in the United States and elsewhere because it is less expensive to transmit over long distances.
For many solar panels, however, DC is easier, and inverters are then used to get the DC electricity into the AC-powered grid.
The more solar panels are deployed, the more photons and electrons can be captured, which in turn means more energy being generated for the property.
What That Means for You
So, what does all of this mean for you on a practical level?
Solar energy is renewable, sustainable, and clean. The best solar panels on the market are so efficient that they are able to generate more electricity than homes typically use. This can allow homeowners to not only power their homes in an environmentally-friendly way, but also cut down on their energy bill because solar panels used by companies such as Sunbank Solar are highly efficient. Further, they get subsidised for the excess energy, which is then sold to the government for usage in the grid.
Taken together, all of this makes solar power the efficient, environmentally-friendly power source of the future in Australia and beyond.