Ever wondered how is solar energy produced?
Everyone has heard of using solar power to produce electricity, and most people at some point in their lives has seen a solar panel of one form or another. This is unsurprising as they are used in everything from calculators to road construction lights and even some cars are utilizing them these days. However, what most people don’t understand is the fundamentals of ‘How is solar power produced?’ This isn’t surprising, considering that the actual nuts and bolts get into the areas of physics and some fairly advanced technology. We’re going to present the details of how solar energy is produced in a way that the layman can understand.
How is solar energy produced? The steps of solar energy production:
- Energy from the Sun – The source of all solar energy
- The Photovoltaic Cell – The singular component that captures the sun
- The Inverter – Converts the generated DC into AC
The Nuclear Furnace of the Sun.
The sun is the most important element of solar energy production and is in fact, where it derives its name. The sun generates light and heat as a byproduct of the nuclear reactions that are taking place within the massive celestial body. What we perceive as light are photons emitted by this massive nuclear reactor that our solar system orbits around. Life on earth is almost solely reliant on this energy on one level or another, whether it’s the heat that makes our environment livable, or the energy that plants convert to food via photosynthesis. This constant bath of photons is the core of how solar power works.
The Photovoltaic cell
The photovoltaic cell is composed primarily of silicon which has a special property that allows it to function in a solar cell and is vital to how solar energy is produced. The simplest way to think about it is that silicon is always looking to collect a few new electrons and usually finds them in neighboring silicon atoms. In a solar cell, you’re not dealing with pure silicon for this reason. The special combination of materials used to build a solar cell creates a situation where photons can disrupt a naturally occurring electric field created by a special mixture of materials, which in turn creates free floating electrons which are captured and produced into current. This current is then sent to the Inverter.
The inverter is a special device that is a vital component of how solar power is produced and made usable. The traditional power grid and most home systems are designed to take advantage of the various qualities of AC energy. Because of this, it’s necessary to convert that power over for it to be easily usable. The inverter takes in that DC current, and runs it through a special set of components to send AC out the other side, where it is either fed to the traditional grid, a home, or focused into batteries to be stored.
These are the basic fundamentals to the question ‘How is solar energy produced?’ and is, usually, more than enough information for the layman to go off of. While further solar energy information can be interesting from an academic standpoint, it’s not necessary to know to be able to take advantage of a solar system array.
I hope this article has answered your question ‘How is solar energy produced?’ Read about How is Solar Energy Used for additional information to the above facts and data.