Photovoltaic Solar Panels

This week’s 1-Minute Climate Snippet is inspired by Nicole Kelner’s PV Solar Panel art. Every hour the sun emits enough energy to power the world for an entire year. Companies like Arcadia, Sun Run, and Aurora Solar Inc. allow us to harness that sunshine.

Photovoltaic Solar Panels

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, every hour the sun emits enough energy to power the world for an entire year.

Photovoltaic solar panels, more commonly known as solar panels, generate power by absorbing energy from sunlight and converting it into electricity.
But how?

Inspired by Nicole Kelner’s artwork, we can see that sunlight is made up of tons of energy packets, called photons. These photos collide with the semiconductors on solar panels.

The panels are made up of individual cells that create an electric field. When the photon strikes the cell it frees some electrons that create an electric current that flows through a circuit created by positive and negative fields (similar to a battery).

The electricity created by the cells is then multiplied by the number of cells in each panel and the number of panels in each solar array. When added all together, PV solar arrays create a sufficient amount of electricity. Panels can be added to homes and businesses to sustainably create a renewable source of energy.

Companies like Arcadia, SunRun, Lumen Energy, Aurora Solar, etc., are improving infrastructure and the overall landscape to allow for greater solar energy adoption.

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