How Does Solar Power Work?

The sun is the most powerful element in our world, and without it there would be no life on the planet at all. This fact alone makes it a little easier to understand that the sun is a vital energy source for us, but how does solar power capture this and convert it into something that can power a household?

The more technical answer is that the sun‘s rays feed into photovoltaic cells within the surface of the solar panel which unsettle electrons within the cells and cause electrical waves. This is then converted into the energy that is the same as that piped through overhead wires and from main power stations around the world. The solar panels can also harness the sun’s heat and convert this into a very useable source of energy responsible for heating water and powering televisions.

Solar power can only operate correctly when there is sunlight. This may seem slightly counter-intuitive, especially as many people would want to use this type of energy source to light up their homes after dark, but technology has allowed us to develop ways to collect and store this energy during the day so that once the sun has set and the PV cells have stopped reacting and producing immediate power supplies, extra batteries can automatically start working to provide the excess energy to the home for the rest of the evening. Once the sun begins to rise again, the solar cells are put to work once again and also recharge the batteries ready for the next evening.

Many older energy sources work by consuming fuels which are burnt to give off the power that is converted to electricity. While this worked to produce enough power for the world over the past century, recent studies have found that there needs to be an alternative that does not consume precious fuels and leave behind harmful products. Solar power works in a way that takes the sun’s rays and converts this into energy and power, but there are no emissions or products that can cause harm to the environment.

Perhaps the best argument for solar power is that it is making use of something that is already burning, and will burn regardless of whether it is used – the sun. The main argument for this is that the sun will always power the world, and is already responsible for so much life and energy in the world that it seems right to use to for our additional power needs.