How do solar panels work?

By using elements such as silicon to create electricity in the presence of sunlight.

There are many ways to harness the power of the sun. Solar Leading specializes in photovoltaic solar technologies.

Modern solar panels harness the ‘photovoltaic effect’, first discovered by French physicist Edmund Becquerel in 1839. They use the natural characteristics of certain elements to create electrical currents in the presence of sunlight.

The most established solar panel technology is built on silicon, one of the most abundant and stable elements on the planet. First, the silicon is formed into large crystals. Next, these crystals are sliced into thin layers or wafers. These wafers are mechanically treated to increase their efficiency and inlaid with delicate wiring to collect the power they produce. At this point, they have become solar cells. Finally, several of these solar cells are wired together and laminated into a single, weatherproof unit that is called a solar module or solar panel.

But solar panels are just the first component in a solar power system. The electricity produced by the panels must pass through a solar inverter before it can be used. The inverter converts the DC power produced by the panels into standard AC current which is safe to use in homes, businesses and the local grid. The exact standards for this AC current varies from country to country so it is very important to consult a professional before choosing a solar inverter.