Oregon Solar: Learn how solar panels work

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There are now many people who are switching to solar energy for their home. No wonder, there are many solar panels on top of the roofs of most homes. Remember that going solar can involve considering if the investment is worth it, meaning determining if the solar energy can help you to reduce or eliminate electricity bills. In most cases, solar energy is known to be an affordable alternative source of energy. In this article, you will learn how solar panels operate.

Understanding solar energy

Solar power refers to renewable energy that is produced from the sunlight to get electric or thermal energy. It’s worth noting that solar energy can be captured in various ways. The most common way is called a photovoltaic solar panel system that converts the sunlight rays into usable electricity.

Besides this, solar energy from the solar company in Salem Oregon can also be utilized in thermal applications to help you heat your indoor spaces. Commercial and residential property owners can place solar panels to heat water and even design their buildings to have passive solar heating. This is the best way you can benefit from solar technology. 

You can choose to install solar panels on your residential or commercial property. Residential solar panels are usually installed on rooftops or even in open ground. These types of solar panels can generate at least between 5 and 20 kilowatts, though this depends on the size of your property.

Commercial solar panels can usually be installed at a larger scale than residential ones. It’s worth noting that individual installations tend to vary significantly in cost and size. With commercial solar panels, they can provide on-site energy to businesses. 

For some people who cannot afford to install solar panels on their properties because of the costs, it’s a good idea to use community solar. The good thing about community solar panels is that it can connect you directly to solar panels of the residential consumers. Therefore, community solar panels are usually constructed in a central location. Ideally, residential consumers may subscribe to this community solar projects to get solar energy without installing solar panels. 

How solar panels work

Solar panels also called solar modules tend to have a metal frame, layer of silicon, glass casing unit, and even wiring to send the electric current that comes from the silicon. You should remember that silicon refers to a nonmetal substance that has conductive properties to allow it to absorb and even convert sunlight into usable energy.

Here is the deal, when sunlight reaches a silicon cell, it causes electrons that are in the silicon to start moving, leading to a flow of electric current. This process is called the photovoltaic effect and it refers to the functionality of a solar panel system. 

When it comes to producing electricity using solar panels, it depends on this photovoltaic effect. In short, photovoltaic effect can be considered to be a property of particular materials also called semiconductors that tend to allow them to produce an electric current once they get exposed to sunlight.

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