Solar Panels for Homes
Solar panels for homes, also known as photovoltaic (PV) cells, work exactly like the PV cells you see on solar powered calculators. Breaking apart the word photo meaning “light” and voltaic meaning “electricity” you can see that a solar panel merely converts light (an unusable form of energy) into electricity (a usable form of energy). This light reaches the PV cells in three forms: direct, diffuse and reflected solar radiation.
A Photovoltaic Cell is made of semiconductors, like silicon, that have special material properties that allow the sun light that strikes a cell to be absorbed in the material. The light captured generates a current by knocking electrons loose from the atoms in the semiconductor material allowing them to flow freely.
This flow of electrons is a current and in order to use it to power your home appliances contacts are placed at the top of the PC cell to wire them to your home electrical system. It’s a little more complicated than that. For more information on how the sun’s energy is brought to your outlet you can find it here.
Solar panels for homes are also called solar modules. The solar panel or module is the basic building block of a home solar power system. These solar modules are made up of a collection of photovoltaic cells that are then bonded to a sheet of glass. The modules are self-contained to prevent water intrusion and for easy setup. The aluminum frame that frames the units is used to install the panels side by side and mount them in any number of configurations.
Key thing to remember any shadow on any one photovoltaic cell among the collection in a module with result in the entire module producing close to no electricity. So shadows are not your friend out there! To calculate how many modules your home would need to supply its electricity demands in your location check out our solar power calculator.