Solar panels are often the first things that come to mind when one thinks of clean energy, and with good reason. Solar energy has been in practice for many years and the technology it utilizes continues to develop over time. This form of clean energy is one of the most popular because it’s easily accessible for both residential and commercial purposes and is relatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of clean energy. The technology used to create solar panels is now so advanced that even small devices can be powered exclusively by solar energy. This guide provides a deeper exploration of everything you need to know about solar panels.
How they’re made
Large solar panels are composed of many smaller solar cells, sometimes also called photovoltaic cells. These PV cells are made from silicon semiconductors that absorb and utilize sunlight to produce an electric current. These silicon semiconductors are not enough to power a device on their own, however. They must be combined with metal casing and wiring in order to create a strong enough current. The small PV cells are then connected together to form one large solar panel. Many elements used to create solar panels are easily recyclable, including glass, plastic, and metal. Silicon can also be recycled, though it should be done by professionals, as the process can be quite complex.
How they work
One of the most important things to know about solar panels actually happens behind the scenes. Solar panels may seem very complex and futuristic at first glance, but the technology they utilize is quite simple. Once the sunlight has been absorbed by the photovoltaic cells, it begins to interact with the silicon cell. The electrons begin to move faster, and a direct current of electricity is created. This direct current, or DC, is fed through the wires of the solar panel to a solar inverter, where it is converted into alternating current electricity. This alternating current electricity is then put to use powering various appliances in your home.
Sustainable at all stages
Solar panels are a very popular option for individuals looking to lead a more sustainable life. In fact, solar panels are eco-friendly in more ways than one. Not only do solar panels create clean energy when in use, but they are also completely recyclable at the end of their very long life. Almost all materials used to create solar panels are recyclable, including the metal, glass, wiring, and silicon used in the photovoltaic cells. Solar panels can’t be sent to just any recycling facility, however. They must first be broken down into their base materials, a process that can be quite complex and time-consuming. In order to ensure that your solar panel is properly broken down and disposed of, it’s best to utilize a special waste removal service. Such a service will ensure that all elements are recycled in the proper manner and will not pose any threat to the environment.