How Does a Solar Panel Work?

If you’ve ever admired the hi-tech expanses of shimmering glass that are solar panels on many roofs across the country, you may be curious about what exactly they do. The simple answer is: they convert sunlight into electricity. Find out more about Solar Panel Installers Nailsea and visit a site like

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The most important thing is to ensure the solar panel’s surface is exposed to sunlight and not shaded by trees or buildings. This is because only the sunlight that strikes the cell directly (i.e., not reflected or scattered) can produce electricity.

A solar cell is made of a special type of semiconductor material, typically silicon, which acts as a conductor. The cell’s front surface is specially treated during manufacture to make it more receptive to sunlight. When the sun’s rays strike the cell, they can energise electrons in the semiconductor material, knocking them loose and causing them to flow through the cell. When electrical conductors (often copper) are attached to both the positive and negative sides of the cell, electricity is generated. Multiple cells make up a solar module, which is then wired together electrically to form a solar array.

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If a grid-tied photovoltaic system produces more energy than the homeowner needs in real time during daylight hours (especially on sunny summer days), the excess power is sent back to the electricity grid in exchange for credits on the homeowner’s electric bill. This process, known as “feed in tariffs,” allows homeowners to reduce their utility bills while supporting the environment.

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