How Solar Works
Energy is the most important resource on the planet, making everything in our 21st century world possible. Since the industrial revolution, humans have been burning fossil fuels to create this energy. But the technology that sparked that revolution in the 18th century, is no longer sustainable today. Fossil fuels are a dwindling resource, and the emissions created during their combustion are a major contributing factor to global warming.
It's time to change.
Clean, renewable energy is now a reality. The sun has the potential to fulfill all of the planet's energy needs, it can do so in a way that doesn't harm the environment, and it will never run out. How do we harness this incredible resource? Solar technology.
Solar technology works by way of photovoltaic conversion ("photo" means "light", and "voltaic" means "producing electricity"). Photovoltaic solar panels use layers of special materials to capture the light energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. These layers react differently when exposed to the sun's energy, one becoming positively charged and the other negatively charged. Just as with a flashlight battery, when these positive and negative layers are connected they create a current, when can be used to power electrical devices.
The amount of energy produced depends on a number of factors such as the size and quality of the solar panels, the strength of the sun, and the amount of time the panel is exposed to the sun. While these factors can make solar energy unpredictable, modern technology allows for multiple solar modules to be tied together, and even linked to batteries so that energy can be stored for later use. So whether it's a heavy-duty, large-scale utility, residential, or commercial solar panel application, modern solar technology is versatile enough to be a viable option for almost any energy need.