Solar Panels Work

Solar power has grown enormously in Australia over the past years. This dramatic change resulted in almost 2.2 million photovoltaic installations in most homes and industrial companies in the country. According to the Clean Energy Council as stated in their Clean Energy Australia Report 2019, around 5.2% of this electricity was being accounted out of the total energy production in Australia.



As we all know, Australia is prone to drastic dry climate, heat, and latitude conditions especially this situation occurs mostly in summer. These factors have contributed to the need for the country to rely on solar-powered energy devices. You might be wondering how do these devices work during the day and night? To answer your questions about this topic, let’s explore and witness how it works.

Types of Solar Panel Devices

On-Grid Systems

This device is also referred to as a Grid Tie, and these types are the most used among businesses and homes globally. Solar power is usually being connected with grid power via inverters. They do not need batteries, and the users can consume electricity at their utmost need. In case there is an excess, the surplus power will be fed to the grid via a net metering program. This excess power can still be used in the future.

Off-Grid Systems

In contrast with the Grid Tie, this solar panel device uses batteries to store the electricity. These types are not connected to any grid power source. Although the off-grid system relies on battery-based power, the electricity is already enough for a household or business use. Whenever there is a power outage from the main grid source, the users are not affected by the sudden down of the power supply.

Hybrid Solar

From the word itself a hybrid, this device is a complex combination of the Grid Tie and off-grid systems. It works like on-grid panels, but the user has the option to store the electricity via battery for future use. According to the GEM Energy Solar Brisbane, you can use the stored energy during peak times and night. Since sometimes, the power generated from the grid becomes expensive during drastic economic conditions and climate change.

Solar Panels at Your Home

Using this technology, the photovoltaic cells will absorb the sunlight and convert the energy into DC electricity. Thereafter, the inverter will further process and convert it into AC electricity. The latter electric current is the standard and mostly use the unit for home appliances. As the energy flows, it supplies the home appliances with enough power. Furthermore, any surplus electricity will be absorbed by the grid, and thereafter the household can still avail it for future use.

a. What is Direct Current (DC) electric current?

It is a type of electric current wherein the charge can flow in a unidirectional way. The DC electricity may flow to conductors, insulators, semiconductors, ion beams, or vacuum. The electrochemical cell is the best example of this type.

b. What is an Alternating Current (AC) electric current?


In contract with DC, the AC electricity flows in only one direction. This is a type of electric current that we often used for home appliances, gadgets, and business devices and machines.


How do Solar Panel devices work at night?


These devices require sunlight to generate power and convert this energy into usable electricity for home and business use. Going back to the question, my answer is no. However, it has some exceptions, especially if you’re using an off-grid or hybrid system. As mentioned in the types of solar panel devices, the off-grid and hybrid systems used batteries to store the power. Using this concept, it allows the users to consume electric energy even during the night. However, it is limited to the extent of battery storage.



How do Solar Panels Generate Electricity?


In a module, it consisted of several layers of metal frames, known as the silicon cells. Its wirings and glass casing allow the electric current to flow from the frames. Since the silicon is a conductor, it can absorb the direct radiation and convert it into a usable energy form called electricity. As the light reaches the silicon cells, it causes the electrons to move and initiates a flow of photovoltaic effect. Related post: How do Solar Lights Work?


What is a Photovoltaic Effect?

In 1839, a scientist, who goes by the name of Edmond Becquerel, discovered the photovoltaic effect. He first experimented using wet cells, and he noticed that the cell voltage increases as its silver plates were being exposed to direct sunlight. Using this basic concept, the photovoltaic effect was made known to the world of Science.


To briefly explain the scientific way of this process, it occurs when the photons were absorbed by the photovoltaic cells. These photons encompass small particles of energy, known as electromagnetic radiation. As the wavelength of the light passes through the solar panels, the photon will be transferred to the atom and electrons of the semiconducting material. In this step, the electrons will cause the energy state to escalate at a high point called the conduction band. In this scenario, it makes the electrons excited, agitated, and move freely hence, it creates an electric current.


Final Thoughts

Solar panels promote savings in the long run as compared with direct electricity use. As the need arises for these devices in Australia, it becomes a popular device to convert the sun’s heat into a usable form. Although these devices are not perennial as they seem, the useful life of 20 years is already worth it and guarantees you savings and cost-efficient advantages. Now, you know how these devices work, which types are you going to install for your home?