Physics of Solar

How does a Solar Power Installation Work

The principle behind solar panels was discovered in the early 20th Century. In 1905 Physicist Albert Einstein wrote a paper on the photoelectric effect. This was where some materials produced electricity when exposed to light. Einstein got the Nobel prize in 1921 for his understanding of this phenomena.

Solar panels have been very important for energy in the 20th century. Along with technology like wind power they are one of the few renewable sources of power. There will be solar energy from the Sun hitting the earth’s surface every day for millions of years to come. Making use of this energy is a great way to supply our civilization with power.

Solar technology has practical working solar panels working at about 20% efficiency. This means that for every 10 watts of solar power hitting the panels about 2 watts of electricity is produced. The actual percentage varies, with slightly better efficiency at low temperatures and low levels of sunshine, slightly lower efficiency when there is bright sunshine, and therefore some power to spare.

Solar power works with light, not heat. So solar energy is still there during some cold weather conditions. If the Sun shines brightly on the panels then there will be electricity produced.

Solar Power Company

A good solar power installation can provide sufficient electricity for a home, at virtually no cost after installation. The system must designed for the specific household, but one installed the investment in solar pays for itself over the next few years with the savings from utility bills.