This device is used to absorb energy from the rays of the sun to use immediately or store for later. There are two main kinds of solar panels, which are:
- Photovoltaic modules—this type is designed to convert the energy of the sun into electrical energy. This energy is used to power items like cars, computers, and lights.
- Solar thermal collectors—this type is designed to absorb the energy of the sun directly as heat energy. It is used to heat water that can be forced through a structure to heat it and heat water for showers.
The photovoltaic module is a collection of a number of solar cells. When you have multiple solar panels, they will make a photovoltaic or solar array. The solar cells are combined into a single solar panel. This is done for economy of scale and ease of use. When you combine the solar cells into a manageable panel they are easier to transport and install. In addition, the electronics that are used to process them can be shared by several different solar cells.
One of the most common types of solar panel uses thin films made of either cadmium telluride or silicon or crystalline silicon in the formation of wafers. It is a basic concept as to how solar panels work. When the light first hits the solar panel some of this light energy is absorbed into the semiconductor that makes up the solar panel. This in turn knocks the electrons free, forcing them in one direction to create a current. This current can be used to power, captured, or converted whenever you need it.
The solar thermal collector has been in use in one form or other for hundreds of years. The basic concept of this solar panel is to place a body of water into a container so that the container absorbs as much light energy as it can. You do need to make sure that the container is naturally or painted back. This light energy heats up the water that can be used for a variety of reasons. Some even used forced solar energy to heat their homes. This is done by running hot water through the pipes in the walls or floors. This radiates out and heats the inside air.
One of the immediate concerns with solar panels is how to get the most energy from the smallest amount of space. Solar panels are expensive and take a lot of space so you need to make sure that they are economically friendly. Consumer solar panels are currently operating at approximately five to eighteen percent efficiency. In the future, they are hoping to have more affordable consumer solar panels that absorb approximately twenty to thirty percent.