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How Do Solar Panels Work

how do solar panels work

Main operation of photovoltaic solar panels

Understanding the operation of photovoltaic solar panels is essential when using this technology. The photovoltaic solar module is a system able to capture the energy sent by the sun towards the Earth, and to convert it into a continuous electric current. There is also equipment that produces hot water from solar energy.

How do Solar photovoltaic panels work?

Operation of a photovoltaic solar panel
The operation of a photovoltaic solar panel is based on several elements:

A module composed of photovoltaic cells transforming energy into a continuous electrical voltage;
An assembly system, also called roof integration system that anchors the photovoltaic panel to the frame;
An aberge which establishes a tight junction between the panel and the rest of the roof.
Added to this are the electrical equipment, and in particular the inverter which transforms the direct current into alternating current and makes it possible to supply your house, or the public network of electricity distribution. The purchase price of a photovoltaic solar panel remains high, but decreases year by year. In addition, financial assistance is available to help you pay the cost of departure.

How does a photovoltaic cell work?

Photovoltaic cells are electronic components capable of producing electricity from solar energy, thanks to the photovoltaic effect. Discovered in 1839 by Antoine Becquerel , this phenomenon is based on the behavior of semiconductor materials when they receive solar radiation. Indeed, when the photons of sunlight come into contact with these particular materials, they transmit their energy to the electrons of the semiconductors, which then generate an electric voltage. The most widely used semiconductor material currently used by PV module manufacturers is silicon.

How is the efficiency of a photovoltaic panel measured?

The amount of electricity that can be produced by a photovoltaic solar panel during its operation is measured by its peak power, a data provided by the panel manufacturers. It corresponds to the power that a photovoltaic installation can deliver, under conditions of sunshine (1000 W per m²) and temperatures (25 ° C) optimal. For an estimate of what this technology can do for you, based on your personal situation and the specific characteristics of your home, see our energy savings simulator. It should be known that the power actually emitted by a module will always be lower than the indicated figure, since its performance will depend on many criteria: its location, the efficiency of its photovoltaic cells, its implementation, its orientation, its maintenance, etc. The choice of panel performance is therefore a very important criterion.

Learn more – Resell electricity or consume it on the spot?

It is not mandatory to resell electricity produced with photovoltaic solar panels. You can store it on the spot in batteries, and consume it directly to meet the needs of your home. However, in order to support this clean and renewable energy, the French State has put in place advantageous purchase rates for solar energy, well above the price of the electricity you are paying now. As an owner, your interest may be to sell this solar energy to your electricity supplier. The interest for you is to realize substantial savings .


Interested in purchasing a solar panel kit? Take a look at some of these solar panel kits and complete off-grid solutions.

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