How Does Solar Power Work

As the solar power begins to be used more and more nowadays and because of the growing demand for renewable energy, it is quite important to know how does solar power work.

The Sun

The sun’s light contains a lot of energy. We all know that when the light from the sun hits an object, that energy turns into heat. However, when the same light hits certain materials, it instantly turns into electric current. This is why we can harness it to produce electricity, but let’s not forget it all comes from the sun.

The Modern Technology

The older technology used large crystals made from silicon. Why silicon? It is famous for the properties of its electrons, which start to move when exposed to the light from the sun. Even if silicon turns almost all light into electricity, it is extremely expensive because of its big crystals, which are hard to produce.

Nevertheless, a modern technology was developed a few years ago. This technology uses smaller and cheaper crystals that can be shaped into various objects. In order to know how does solar power work in this crystals, we need to realise these small crystals are made from copper-indium-gallium-selenide, which is a unique semiconductor used mainly for absorbing light and transforming it into electricity. This tetrahedrally bonded semiconductor is used in thin-film solar cells.

The Challenge

Nowadays, solar energy is only used in a small portion of U.S. because it is more expensive than the highly polluting coal. Scientist face a real challenge: they need to develop new materials and a cheaper technology in order to mass-produce solar panels at a cheap and affordable price for the population.

Once again, it is very important to know the basics of how does solar power work, because if the scientist develop a better and cheaper alternative to small crystals, then all the world will switch to solar energy.

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