How Does Solar Energy Work?

Have you ever wondered what solar energy really is?  The sun is the main source of energy on the entire world.  The sun is also what power is generated from with solar energy.  Solar can be converted for electricity or just used for heat.

Solar energy panel collector reflecting sunlight spectrum

Solar power is a renewable energy.  It does not use resources from the planet that cannot be replaced.  It also is a clean form of energy, not creating pollution.  Using solar for heat can be an easy way to warm your home since it doesn’t have any mechanical parts that move the warm air around.  You can use the heat provided to warm your home, to keep your swimming pool heated, or many other things. In a home, the sun warms up the air and is then pushed around to warm up the entire space.  There are not many extra wires that need to be installed in a home for solar to be used which cuts down on potential costs since you wouldn’t need to use dry wall pros to hide a lot of excess wiring.

A lot of us think about solar batteries when we think about solar power.  These batteries are called photovoltaic cells.  Photovoltaic is from the word “photons”.  Photons are the particles that sunlight is made from.  Another word to know is “volts”, which measures the amount of electricity.

In today’s society, we often see solar cells being used in devices such as watches and calculators.  More and more, though, we are seeing them on homes and businesses as people try to find a more reliable, renewable way to create power.

Solar cells work to turn the sunlight into electricity by converting the energy of the photons from the sun.  The photons attract the electrons, causing voltage to be created.  This current then flows through the cell and creates electricity.  A large number of cells have to be put together to be able to power a home or business.

Just like with anything else, there are a couple of disadvantages with using solar energy.  The first drawback is in that the amount of sunlight that a given place receives changes depending on the time of year, the climate, and even the time of day it is.  The other drawback is the cost of setting up solar because of the large number of photovoltaic cells that are needed to produce the desired amount of electricity.