Post by bradflossin on Mar 30, 2011 0:45:41 GMT -5
With the prices of oil and gas going up, many people are rushing to install solar panels. The sun offers an almost infinite source of energy. The demand for solar panels is so high that manufacturers of solar panels are having difficulty keeping up with demand. The solar panels act as a medium to trap the light rays from the son and to transform the light energy into electric energy.
Solar panels come in two types. There are solar energy panels in the form of 'solar thermal collectors'. These focus solar energy into a liquid medium, usually water, heating the liquid that is then utilized as and where it is required. The other of the two types of solar panels is known as the photovoltaic module. These solar panels convert the sun's energy into electricity, which can then be distributed immediately or stored within a battery to be used later.
Both photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal solar panels are made of special materials, most frequently silicon. They act as semiconductors. When sunlight hits the solar energy panels, some of the energy is absorbed within the semiconductor material. That energy knocks electrons within the silicon loose, allowing them to flow freely.
Once the electric fields within solar panels are freed by light energy, they force electrons to flow in one specific way. This flow of electrons is also known as a current. By simply placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the solar energy panels, the current can be drawn off as electricity to be used for your needs, thus saving you money.