Ever looked up at a house covered in solar panels and said to yourself, “I don’t get it. Do solar panels actually work?” If so, you’re not alone.
Transitioning an understanding of harnessing energy from a chemical you can see (burning wood or coal to make electricity) to one you can’t (photons moving around in a panel up on the roof) is a big change. But you can learn more about how solar panels work below.
How Do Solar Panels Actually Work?
Yes, solar panels actually work. They absorb energy from the sun and convert it into electricity for you to use in your home.
Sunlight contains energy. This energy is store in a particle called a photon. Whenever light touches you, it is really many tiny, invisible photons.
Solar panels harvest the energy in photons by using photovoltaic cells. The panels that make up these cells include electronics links each cell between silicone, which is semi-conducting and moves electricity through the panel. Photons activate these cells to make an electric field.
To make this electrical field useable in the home, a converter is attached to the solar panels. The converter changes the direct current from the panels to an alternating current that your refrigerator and TV work on.
Do Solar Panels Actually Save You Money?
Yes, solar panels actually save you money. This happens in two ways. The first is that they reduce your consumption of energy from your power grid, lowering your overall electric bill.
Even when you factor in the cost of solar panel installation, the savings eventually outweigh the start-up cost.
The second way they save you money is through grid buyback plans. This is when your local power company draws power back from you. On many sunny days, your solar panels will generate more power than you can use or store.
This excess energy can be directed back onto the grid. With a meter set up to track what you send back to the grid, your local energy company will then give you credits on your energy bill for what you have provided for them to use.
In these ways, the solar panel cost is less than the money you save.
Do Solar Panels Actually Save the Environment?
Yes, solar panels are one way to reduce pollution and the release of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. They are a green, renewable energy.
The creation of solar panels does leave a carbon footprint. But as companies become more conscientious in their manufacturing practices and recycling abilities, the impact of creating solar panels is much less than the impact of burning fossil fuels to generate the power they can create.
Reducing the amount of fossil fuels used for energy provides a reduction in overall pollution.
Now that you know the answer to “Do solar panels actually work?” think about going green. Adding solar panels is a great option to improve the value of your home and drop the cost of your electric bills.
Check out our other articles to learn more about renewable energy options.