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How Boulder Solar Panels Work?

Updated: Apr 26

Solar panels (also known as "PV panels") are devices that convert light from the sun, which is composed of particles of energy called "photons," into electricity that can be used to power electrical loads. These can be used for a wide variety of applications, including remote power systems for cabins, telecommunications equipment, remote sensing, and, of course, for producing electricity by residential and commercial solar electric systems.

Boulder Solar Panels
Boulder Solar Panels

As experienced Boulder solar panel installers, we are here to share some basic information on solar panels, how they work, and more.

  • Solar power is a renewable and infinite energy source that creates no harmful greenhouse gas emissions – as long as the sun continues to shine, energy will be released.

  • The carbon footprint of solar panels is already quite small, as they last for over 30 years. Plus, the materials used in the panels are increasingly recycled, so the carbon footprint will continue to shrink.

  • Once photons escape the Sun, they take over 8 minutes to reach Earth, colliding with solar panels and initiating the photovoltaic effect.

  • Solar panels are usually made from silicon or another semiconductor material and installed in a metal panel frame with a glass casing. When this material is exposed to photons, it releases electrons and produces an electric charge.

  • This PV charge creates an electric current (specifically, direct current or DC), which is captured by the wiring in solar panels. An inverter converts this DC electricity to an alternating current (AC).

  • The AC current enters the grid-tied system. Depending on the size of the system, more energy may be produced than the site needs, so surplus electricity is sent back to the grid. When the Sun goes down, the consumer draws supplemental energy from the utility.

  • On the other hand, off-grid solar systems use a battery, charge controller, and inverter as key components. This solar array pushes DC electricity via the charge controller to the battery. The power is later pulled from the battery to the inverter, which transforms DC into AC.

Of course, learning how solar panels work is just the first step. Contact The Solar Revolution Boulder solar panel installers today if you’d like to learn more about going solar.

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