Solar panelscollect clean renewable energy in the form of sunlight and convert that lightinto electricity which can then be used to provide power for electrical loads.Solar panels are comprised of several individual solar cells which arethemselves composed of layers of silicon, phosphorous (which provides thenegative charge), and boron (which provides the positive charge). Solar panelsabsorb the photons and in doing so initiate an electric current. The resultingenergy generated from photons striking the surface of the solar panel allowselectrons to be knocked out of their atomic orbits and released into theelectric field generated by the solar cells which then pull these freeelectrons into a directional current. This entire process is known as thePhotovoltaic Effect. An average home has more than enough roof area for thenecessary number of solar panels to produce enough solar electricity to supplyall of its power needs excess electricity generated goes onto the main powergrid, paying off in electricity use at night.
In awell-balanced grid-connected configuration, a solar array generates powerduring the day that is then used in the home at night. Netmetering programs allow solar generator owners to get paid if their systemproduces more power than what is needed in the home. In off-grid solarapplications, a battery bank, solar panel controller, and in most cases, an inverter arenecessary components. The solar array sends direct current (DC) electricitythrough the solar charge controller to the battery bank. The power is then drawn fromthe battery bank to the inverter, which converts the DC current intoalternating current (AC) that can be used for non-DC appliances. Assisted by aninverter, solar panel arrays can be sized to meet the most demanding electricalload requirements. The AC current can be used to power loads in homes orcommercial buildings, recreational vehicles and boats, remote cabins, cottages,or homes, remote traffic controls, telecommunications equipment, oil and gasflow monitoring, RTU, SCADA, and much more.