Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, and the 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Power facility in California is the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world. It’s a good illustration of how much solar energy the U.S. has.
Solar technologies can harness the sun's energy to light a room, heat water, and even generate electricity. Solar technologies are available for many kinds of buildings and residences, from homes to schools to industrial sites.
In this article, we'll take a look at how solar energy works, go over some of the key players in the industry and talk about the many benefits of going solar.
Solar panels, also known as photovoltaics, are a renewable source of energy that turns sunlight directly into electricity. These panels are composed of multiple photovoltaic cells encased under glass or plastic and connected together to form a panel.
Solar energy is harnessed from the sun and converted into electricity. One way to do this is through photovoltaics. Another way is through concentrated solar power. It is also commonly referred to as photo-voltaic energy. It’s good for the environment too, considering that pollution currently produced by fuels used in conventional electricity generation contributes to global warming.
How Solar Panels Work
A solar panel works by allowing photons from the sun to knock electrons from atoms, generating electricity. To generate any meaningful amount of power, it takes multiple solar cells connected together to form a single large panel or array.
This means that there are two sides to each solar cell: one side where electrons are knocked out of their atoms, and another side where electrons want to flow back into those holes, completing a circuit. When these sides are connected by wires, an electrical current flows through the wires, creating electricity that can be used to power external devices such as lights or appliances.
The energy in sunlight is in the form of photons, which are particles of light. These photons create an electric field when they hit a solar cell. The more direct and intense the light, the more photons there are to be converted into electricity.
An electric field can only exist if there is a difference in voltage between two points. The creation of this differential voltage is known as the “built-in” voltage and is due to the semiconductor material that comprises the solar cell being “doped” with different types of atoms. This doping process creates an imbalance of electrons, which is why silicon is considered a material with “free electrons”.
Key Players In The Industry
One of the key players in the solar energy industry is SolarCity with over 41% market share, which was founded by Lyndon and Peter Rive. The company offers solar power systems to homes, businesses and government organizations.
Advantages Of Solar Energy
1. Renewable Energy Source
The best thing about solar energy is that it is a clean, renewable energy source. It can be harnessed in almost all areas of the world except for continents such as Antarctica where the sun is not available every day. You can count on solar panels to create energy for you as long as there's sunlight. So going solar guarantees a steady supply of energy!
2. Environmentally Friendly
Solar power is a 100% clean, renewable energy source. It reduces reliance on oil and other fossil fuels. Using it reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into our atmosphere which has been proven to have detrimental effects on our climate, causing global warming/climate change and extreme weather events like heatwaves and droughts. Solar power emits no greenhouse gases when producing electricity – making it one of the cleanest sources of energy available today.
3. Reduces Electricity Bills
Installing a solar panel system with a high-efficiency rate can decrease your electricity bill significantly. Because you are generating your own electricity and not relying on your utility company, you are able to save money each month while still receiving the same reliable service – great news for homeowners!
So, what have we learned about solar energy? It’s been around for a long time, and it still looks like it’ll continue to shine for the foreseeable future. If you’re thinking about getting into the solar market, there are plenty of companies out there that can help you. Just make sure you do your research beforehand so that you can find a solution that is reliable and affordable when it comes to your electricity usage needs.