How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels work by capturing the sun’s rays and turning them into energy for your home or business.

It’s science, really. The sun emits invisible bits of energy called photons that travel millions of miles to Earth in just a handful of minutes.

Photons are absorbed by a semiconductor material in the solar cell — silicon — and electrons are then separated from their atoms. Conductors attached to the plus and minus sides of that cell form an electrical pathway, and electricity is created as the electrons flow through it.
What Solar Panels Are Made Of

Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are comprised of multiple silicon solar cells. They have a positive layer and a negative layer that combine to make an electric field, similar to a battery.

Multiple cells are combined to create a solar panel. Panels (also called modules) can be wired together to form a solar array. More panels mean you can generate more energy on your roof, saving you money or eliminating your electricity bill..

How Do Solar Panels Generate Electricity?

Solar panels make direct current (DC) electricity as electrons flow one way around a circuit. It’s like a battery powering a light bulb. The electrons move from the minus battery side to the lamp’s bulb and then return to the battery’s positive side.

With alternating current (AC) electricity, electrons are pushed and pulled, occasionally changing direction, like a car engine cylinder. Generators create AC electricity when a wire coil spins near a magnet. There are various types of energy sources that “turn” a generator’s handle. Examples are gas or diesel fuel, hydroelectricity, nuclear, coal, wind, or solar.

The U.S. grid uses AC electricity because it is inexpensive to move over long distances. To convert DC into the AC grid, solar panels require an inverter.
How Are SunPower Solar Panels Different?
All solar panels generally create energy from the sun in a similar fashion, but not all solar panels are made the same nor do they have the same level of quality because different materials can be used.

SunPower’s Maxeon solar cells have a solid copper backing for longevity and strength; they are made from ultra-pure silicon; and we include a coating that traps light, allowing the panels to produce up to 55 percent more power over time compared to panels from other manufacturers.

Our solar cells are not connected using metal pasted lines. This results in a more attractive look and avoids a common reason that panels fail or lose power because metal connections are very vulnerable to damage from weather and temperature changes.

We’re so confident in the durability and performance of our solar panels we guarantee them up with a best-in-industry 25-year power and product warranty.

Reach out to the SunPower by SunSolar solar experts today for more information, call us at (661) 379-7000 or fill out our online contact us form for a free solar quote.