Light energy is produced by the Sun and this called photons. Through solar radiation, the panels on solar systems would capture photons and convert the energy actively into electricity. The solar panels will work through a process known as photovoltaic, where the radiation energy is absorbed to generate voltaic (electricity).
Semi-conductor cells, generally the silicon type, absorb radiation energy that is transformed from light energy into electric current. Once the radiation from the sun connects with a silicon atom, electrons will be released as the absorption of photon light energy occurs. An electric current will be created when the electrons release. This electric current will then go to an inverter that converts it from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). After that, the system is connected to the main electricity or power grid.
You should know that there are two kinds of solar panels; one that generates electricity and the other generates heat. It is also important to understand more about the different systems when you want to know how solar panels work.
The solar panels which generate electricity are often referred to as photovoltaic cell system. These typically use silicon as the semi-conductor material. Direct current or DC electricity can be produced when the silicon and sunlight interacts. The panels will work only during the day when the sun light is available. Depending on the solar system size, it could produce electricity that can power an entire house or just the general appliances. For pricing information, check out this resource that describes solar panel cost per watt.
The other solar panels will use the thermal energy of the sun to heat oil or water through thermal collectors. These panels are usually made to use with plastic coils and piping. The sun would heat the liquid that is running through the coils in order to pass on the energy. Generally these panels are used to provide heat to Jacuzzi, swimming pools, hot tubs and spas.
The two types of solar panel systems use glass frame to retain the collection cells and they also need direct sunlight to work at their full capacity. Even though you can place solar panels in any location to harness the sun's energy, the systems will not function effectively in areas with cloudy weather throughout the year.
Hopefully, the information above will help you to understand more about how solar panels work. When you decide to use solar energy at home, it will also be a good idea to get a backup generator system. Another great way to cut down on your electricity use is to buy window treatments that save energy. This will come in handy when rain falls for extended period or if the batteries are not working effectively to store the required amount of electricity.