How Do Solar Panels Work? (Physics of Solar Cells) |
April 22, 2020

How the heck does that work? I am sure many of you have wondered over the years: How does solar power work? Well, today’s your lucky day! I’ve designed a special clone just for this case: Solar-Powered Clone 20%. OK, we’ll come back to him later. First, let us get some lingo out of the way. When I say solar panel, you are probably picturing something like this, or maybe even this. But these are called solar arrays. They are collections of solar panels.

A single panel or module looks like this and that panel is made of even smaller parts called solar cells. These cells are where the solar power comes from. Technically speaking though, power sources do not actually provide power. They provide energy in the form of voltage, but we’ll get to that later. That reminds me: Hey Solar-Powered Clone, how are you doing? 30% Hmm, maybe he could have been designed a little better. Anyway, let us get into the structure of one of those solar cells. They might look like one thing, but there are several layers. A metal plate on the back, two different types of semi-conductors, a metal grid, an anti-reflection coating, and piece of glass. Now, that is a lot of layers, but this is all about turning light energy into electrical energy. So let us follow the light.
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