How Does Solar Panels Work?

How Does Solar Panels Work
Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels

The amount of solar power reaching the Earth every hour equals all the energy humanity has used since the beginning of civilization.

With no moving parts, solar panels create electricity through photovoltaic (PV) cells.

The Pv cells capture sunlight and turn it into electricity that you can use to power your home or business.

Whether you’re an environmentalist looking to decrease your carbon footprint or an entrepreneur who wants to capitalize on the rise of renewable energy.

It is best to have your solar panels at home or work can provide you with significant financial benefits over time.

Generally, almost everyone is asked the question of how does Solar panels work? and I am sure that’s why you are here.

This article discusses everything about solar panels and how it works.

What is a Solar Panel?

A solar power system is made up of five major components. They are Solar Panels (1-4), Mounting Systems (optional), Batteries (optional), Charge Controllers, and an Inverter.

The Solar Panels take energy from sunlight, convert it to DC power, and store it in batteries or other devices.

A charge controller regulates and stabilizes battery charging while an inverter changes 12-volt DC to 120-volt AC for powering devices in your home.

A system can be purchased together as a Turnkey System, which includes all of these components, or you can purchase them individually at your local hardware store.

Fundamental Features Of Solar panel

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, convert sunlight into energy.

PV solar panels are made up of silicon cells that produce an electric current when exposed to sunlight, and PV cells are lightweight and durable and can be used in various climates.

A home solar panel system consists of at least one solar panel, a solar inverter, and interconnecting wiring to your electric grid or power storage batteries.

Solar energy is then converted into AC electricity to be distributed throughout your home using existing wiring or with unique components such as power optimizers and DC disconnects to maximize the DC produced by solar panels or batteries.

How Does Solar Panel Work?

Solar Energy - Different Sources of Energy
by kevin dooley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Every solar panel in a solar power system needs a device known as an inverter.

Without an inverter, a solar panel is not much different from a small flashlight—you can put electricity into it, but you can’t do anything useful with that electricity.

With an inverter (also sometimes called a DC-to-AC converter), you can use that electricity in all sorts of ways:

  • Powering lights and appliances in your home.
  • Feeding excess power back into your local grid.
  • Even providing backup power when needed.

Solar Panel Panels are made up of photovoltaic cells. When sunlight hits these cells, photons knock electrons loose from their atoms, creating free electrons.

The free electrons move through wires connecting each cell and are then directed toward a circuit board, where they are converted into usable energy.

What Is an Inverter?

It is a device that is used to convert direct current into alternating current. It is most commonly used in solar panels and wind turbines, but it also has other uses.

An inverter converts DC power generated by your renewable energy system into AC power you can use at home, sending it out through an AC outlet.  

An inverter takes in DC electricity from a battery or directly from your renewable energy system’s generator and outputs 120-volt power that You can plug directly into wall outlets throughout your home.

Do I Need An Inverter?

If you’re buying a new solar installation for your home, it’s wise to consider whether or not you’ll need one and what type you need to buy.

Inverters are available as a part of a complete solar power system from most brands of commercial-scale systems and roof-mounted PV systems designed for residential usage. 

Many homeowners choose to have an inverter installed along with their solar panels.

This enables them to use excess energy produced by their system directly in their home instead of sending it back into the power grid.

Excess energy is sent back into your utility’s system without an inverter.

What Are The Different Types of Solar Panels?

One of three types of photovoltaic panels available, mono-crystalline silicon modules (mono-si) tends to be more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity.

Since they are made from a single crystal, their efficiency is 24%.

Poly-crystalline silicon modules (poly-si) are often less expensive than mono-si and more efficient than amorphous silicon (see below).

They have an efficiency rate of 15%-18%. Amorphous silicon panels (also called thin-film solar panels) have an average efficiency rate of 12%-17% and are typically cheaper than other types.

However, they require larger surface areas for a similar output level as crystalline panels.

That means you need more space on your roof or in your yard if you want to go with a thin film.

The Basic Steps for Getting Started with Solar Energy

How does Solar panels work during installation?. See how solar panels are installed. Like any technological investment, it’s worth doing your research before deciding.

If you want to use solar energy, especially if you want to get started on a small scale, installing a few panels at home is a good idea; however, there are some things to consider before jumping in.

Follow these steps to get going with solar power.

  • The first step is determining how much electricity you need from solar panels. Figure out how much electricity you consume daily and multiply that by 30 days (the average number of days between full moons).
  • Then add up all of your monthly electric bills for a year and divide by 12. The answer will be close to how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you consume each month.
  • Now multiply that number by 0.15 to determine how many kWh of electricity you could generate with 1 square meter of photovoltaic cells. For example, if you used 300 kWh per month, 300 x 0.15 = 45 kWh/m2/month or 45 kWh/m2/year, meaning one square meter could generate about 45 kWh per year.

In other words, just over 4 square meters would meet your needs (300 x 4 = 1200). Of course, there are plenty of variables here, so don’t take these numbers as gospel but rather as a rough guide to help point you in the right direction!

How is Solar Panel Installed?

Solar panels do not work independently; a professional must install them.

There are many different types of solar panel installers, and it is crucial to choose one you can trust, get your solar panel up and running quickly, and charge a fair price.

Before hiring someone to install your solar panels, ask them about their prior experience with installations.

  • What kind of track record do they have?
  • Who do they know in business?
  • Are they connected with a larger company that makes good products?

Also, make sure that any installers you consider have liability insurance if something goes wrong with your installation.

You should install solar panels high off any landscaping features or other structures so they don’t receive shade from anything else as much as possible.

Things to Think About Before Installing Solar Panels on Your Roof

If you live in an area that gets enough sun to make solar power feasible, you may be thinking about going off-grid and getting your panels installed.

But before you do, it’s a good idea to figure out exactly how much it will cost and how long it will take to recoup your investment.

To help with that process, here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  1. Can I afford it?
  2. Do I have enough room on my roof for them?
  3. How long is my payback period?
  4. How much sun do I get?
  5. What are my financing options?
  6. Is there an alternative energy rebate program in my area for homeowners who want a cleaner energy source without subsidies from taxpayers?


It is essential to know how does solar panels work to see if it’s right for you.

There are many options when it comes to making your home more energy-efficient, and one of those options should be adding solar panels.

Your house can stay cool in summer, save you money on utility bills and be environmentally friendly at the same time with a set of panels.

If you want to know how they work or how they might impact your energy savings, keep reading.

You’ll learn what they do, where to buy them, and other helpful information to help you decide what they can do for your home and budget.

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