How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels collect solar radiation from the sun and actively convert that energy to electricity. Solar panels are comprised of many individual photovoltaic cells.
When these solar cells are exposed to sunlight, the photovoltaic diodes convert the energy from sunlight into usable electrical energy. The sun energy generated from photons striking the surface of the solar panel allows electrons to be knocked out of their orbits and released, and electric fields in the solar cells pull these free electrons in a directional current, from which metal contacts in the solar cell can generate electricity. The more solar cells in a solar panel and the higher the quality of the solar cells, the more total electrical output the solar panel can produce. Thus the conversion of sunlight to usable electrical energy is called the Photovoltaic Effect.