How Do Solar Panels Actually Work? - Solar Panels - Solar Fuse

How Do Solar Panels Actually Work?

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Solar panels are simple devices that are used to absorb energy from the sun’s rays and eventually convert them into heat. In a deeper explanation, a solar panel is made of numerous photovoltaic cells which are therefore responsible for generating the heat by converting the energy found from the sun’s rays. Usually, the photovoltaic cells are arranged in a specific pattern in the surface provided by the plates specifically designed for them. Therefore, meaning is derived as a set of photoreceptive modules that are fixed in a structure favorable for them in terms of size and number.


Psychically, the panels are very hard to wear. To be exact, the panel wears out extremely very low estimating too many years of service. It is estimated that in one year, the effectiveness of the solar reduces by one or two percent which in some times it’s less than that.


Apart from the main work of the solar panel, what is the science behind its translation of energy to electricity?

We have already deduced that the photovoltaic cells are responsible for the conversion. A photovoltaic cell is made of a twin slice material that works as a semi-conductor. The material is in most cases made of silicon which is also used in microelectronics.


For the generation to happen, the photovoltaic cells must initiate a field rather than a magnetic field. All scientists conclude that from a magnetic field to form, opposite poles must be present. Therefore a field is formed after the opposite charges are separated. Therefore, for the manufacturer to initiate a field, the mix silicon with other materials making each twin to either get a positive or a negative charge.


Precisely, they coat phosphorous in the upper layer of silicon, which as a result produces more electrons that are negatively charged to the coat. During that time, the lower layer accumulates a trace of boron which results in lower electrons which charge positively. However, by the time the two chargers are formed, an electric field is evident in between the silicon layer. Eventually, when a ray of the sun heats the surface, the electric field in between the layers is forced out of the junction causing electricity.

Since there are numerous similar components, there is a continuous production of power throughout providing electricity. The electricity is then conducted to the surface of the metallic places which takes it directly to the wires which in turn deposit the already made electricity into the consumer or the preservation battery for future use.


Recently, with the efficiency of the developed technology, there has been an invention of ultra thin and flexible photovoltaic cells. The cells are estimated to be 1.3 microns thick and surprisingly similar to 1% the usual width of a human hair. You can imagine the thickness! That must be very thick to see with bear eyes except when using microscopes. Also adding mounting the amazements, the solar cells are preferably said to be 20 times lighter a piece of normal paper found in offices. All said done, the solar cells do not affect its efficiency which is considered the same as that of the glass-made solar panels. The researcher has it that, this kind of flexible solar cell can be incorporated in other fields like architecture, aerospace technology and also in wearable electronics. Imagine a world with a moving, invisible solar everywhere the individual goes! Amazing!


As much as solar panels are concerned, there are other various types of solar technology. Among them includes solar thermal and concentrated solar power. They are operating in different schemes but have a common goal and that all derive power from sun rays to manufacture electricity. In most cases, the solar panels are made up of crystalline silicon energy cells.


Relatively, there are three types associated with solar panels in the current technology. However, the three types are worth noting since they appear in the modern market. They are;

 Monocrystalline

 Polycrystalline

 Thin-film amorphous


There is no much difference between the monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar since from their name, mono means one and poly represents more than one. Simply all are made from the crystalline silicon. Research indicates that for the last 2-3 years ago, the monocrystalline solar was more popular in America but the situation has changed over recent times and the polycrystalline has been proved to be dominant. For those willing to invest in installing solar panels in their homes, it is more important they choose a brand that is fully invested in the quality and that emphasizes more in their reputation.

When it comes to performance, the monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are the same. The main difference in both is the degree of efficiency invested during manufacture. Defects during the performance and the availability of a warranty if at any case one buys a faulty solar also plays a major part in which company a person chooses.


Thin film, unlike both monocrystalline and polycrystalline, differs in technology therein when manufacturing. Despite its disadvantage was it less efficient than the others and considerably uses more space has its pro when there is an unfavorable environment and light is not enough or any occurrence of hindrance in the system. The thin-film also can be of help during extreme heat experience of the system.

Finally, when selecting between the different types of solar energy, one must be briefly aware of the pros and cons of each.



Monocrystalline solar cell



 They are highly efficient since they are made of high silicon grades. They can convert a least 22% of sunlight into power.

 They have achieved a world record module conversion estimated to 22.5% efficiency which has led to the mass production technology of solar panels all over the world.

 Monocrystalline solar cells use less space compared to thin firm type.

 In terms of lifespan, then monocrystalline solar is the correct call to make. Companies producing the solar offer even a 25 years warranty which shows they are sure about the quality.

 While using monocrystalline solar, you will notice that they are more efficient in warmer environments.



 It is very expensive to install monocrystalline solar compared to others.



Polycrystalline solar panels



 During manufacturing, it easier to make and process and are found in lesser prices

 They have a lower heat tolerance when compared to monocrystalline.



 Polycrystalline solar panels are made of lower silicon quality hence lower efficiency levels which range from 14% and 16%.

 To have more power from the type, one must invest in a considerable similar space when installing rendering it expensive.

 Polycrystalline compared to the other types do not incorporate uniformity.



Thin-film solar panels



 Favorable for mass production

 Has a homogenous look that renders it appealing to watch

 It’s flexible

 High temperatures and shade on the system does not affect its efficiency

 In situations of large space, thin-film is considered recommendable.



 Cheap but require a lot of space which does not favor residential areas.

 It’s worse when viewed in terms of space efficiency.

 Thin film is not durable compared to the crystalline type of solar.

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