How Do Solar Panels Work?

When it comes to generating your own electricity, there are a variety of options. From small and affordable DIY methods to large-scale green power projects, there is something for everyone. With solar energy as the new cost-effective leader in this market, more and more homeowners and business owners are looking into incorporating this renewable source. Cost of solar panels has fallen over the past few years while their efficiency has increased dramatically.

What are solar cells?

Solar cells are components within a solar panel that absorb light. They are made up of poly-crystalline silicon, a semiconductor material that converts sunlight into electricity. In a solar panel, solar cells are sandwiched between two layers of glass to protect them from natural elements.

There are several different solar cell types available for use in solar panels. Any type selected largely depends on system being installed, sun exposure and intensity, and equipment being used.

Mono-silicon cells are generally less expensive than poly-silicon cells, but require more electricity to produce same amount of power. Poly-silicon cells tend to be more expensive than mono-silicon cells, but are more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity.

Hybrid cells are a blend of mono- and poly-silicon technology. They are a good compromise between cost and efficiency of poly-silicon cells and price and efficiency of mono-silicon cells.

Thin-film cells are very thin, allowing them to be created using rollable manufacturing techniques. They may also be flexible and can be used to create solar panels that can bend and twist with the sun.

How does a solar panel work?

When light enters a solar cell, it causes electrons in solar cells to oscillate back and forth. Much like a wave on an ocean, these electrons are “riding” a wave-like movement of light. They absorb light and release energy in form of heat. This heat is then transferred to a liquid called a “crystalline” or “thermal” to generate electricity that flows through a circuit, producing DC power.

Every solar panel has a circuit board that connects these cells together and converts DC power generated by each cell into a safe and usable AC power that can be used in homes or businesses.

Installation of Solar Panel System

While installation of a solar panel system might seem easy, it is best to trust expert and professional solar company Grand Junction offers to its residents through SOCO Solar and Power.

Materials required for installation of solar energy system.

  • Solar panels: power source for a solar panel system.
  • Battery: A partial charge or “grid- disconnect” battery is used to store excess power generated by solar panel system.
  • Charge Controller: A charge controller is used to regulate flow of electricity into battery and prevent overcharging.
  • Inverter: An inverter is used to convert direct current (DC) energy from the panels into usable AC power.
  • Wiring: Wiring is used to connect solar panel system to battery, charge controller, and inverter.


With a little bit of knowledge and research, you can easily install a solar panel system on your home or business.