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The Science of Solar Power


Everyday our sun sends enough photoelectric energy to power our planet - falling like manna from heaven.

As the photons from the sun hit the atmosphere of the earth one of several things happens to it, either it hits dust or molecules and bounces back into space or charges molecules making the colorful Arora Borealis, or it finds it's way to the ground, where it hits our solar panel. As this light hits our panel, about 5 - 20% is reflected back out into our atmosphere, where some of it returns to space.

This solar energy passes into our multicrystalline solar cell where these photons encounter silicon molecules - adding energy to the electrons - exciting them into the conduction shell - less tightly held by the atoms of the semiconductor. These electrons are convinced to leave these molecules because a voltage charge potentail occurs across this solar junction - it is defined by the the material characteristics - in doped silicon is it generally about 1.4Volts. The electrons travel on either to be collected by a conductor - that is a material such as a metal (usually silver or gold) that has a cloud of electrons in association, or until they hit a defect in the material, which causes the electron to become trapped by a molecule, or until they lose energy and fall back into the insulation shell - more tightly held by the atom.

The electrons which find their way to the conductors travel along the conductors in the solar cell to join all the other electrons collected by the solar cell to the next cell. Then they travel on through the wires to the inverter to become the ac energy used by your house, or to a battery bank to be saved and used either by dc loads or ac loads at a later time.

Our own pages containing further information.  

*Basic Solar Science

*Basic Solar System Design

*Miniature Solar System Design

*Solar News and Educational Resources

*Our Solar Publications

We encourage you to check out some of these external links
containing further information on the science of Solar Technology

Solar Energy Technologies

National Rebates and Legislation

Home Power Magazine

American Solar Energy Society (ASES)

Solar Articles at (search under "solar")

Copyright © 2012 Cathy Sana. All Rights Reserved.