We all know the basics of how solar energy works – the sun’s rays are harnessed and converted into electricity using photovoltaic solar panels. But what exactly is happening as we take those plentiful rays and turn them into power?
A large nuclear reactor produces just a few thousand megawatts of energy per day. Not even a gigawatt. In comparison, the sun sends out hundreds of billions of gigawatts all the time. Therefore, the energy it produces is more than enough to sustain every single human being on our planet millions of times over.
The heat you feel from the sun is energy. So how do we take this heat energy and convert it into electrical charge? Well, the physical composition of the photovoltaic solar panels is such than when light hits it, rather than absorbing heat, the electrons and neutrons actually move. This therefore has given them a charge. An inverter takes this direct current and converts it to alternating current which can be used easily and completely safely in all of our homes.
The result is a completely clean, completely renewable and completely ethical way of producing energy that doesn’t plunder our own dwindling resources but instead follows our bodies’ lead and takes life from the sun.The other benefit is that there is practically no maintenance required, so once solar panels have been installed they will be effective for many years without any worry about having to spend out more money in the future.
But that’s not the only way in which solar power ‘works.’ Solar panels can produce energy that carries out any number of functions. It isn’t just mains electricity, but can be used for any form of heating too meaning that almost all of your energy needs can be covered. And in the process, using it could go an awful long way to saving our ever-declining environment.