Solar power is something we believe in and the technology has already changed the world in many ways. You can find giant fields of solar panels helping to power a city to small cells powering a single light on your sidewalk. You may be thinking about purchasing a solar backup generator or solar outdoor lighting for you home, but do you understand how it works and why it’s better than many of the alternatives out there?
A Little Bit of Solar Energy History
Creating electricity from the sun isn’t a new concept. It wasn’t even created in this century or the one before it. Solar power cells date back to 1876 when scientists discovered that the element selenium created electricity when exposed to light. It’s that gee whiz moment that birthed solar power, but the problem was efficiency. It wasn’t worth creating electricity this way until 1953 when scientists invented the silicon solar cell, which is still used in many places today.
The space program and the search for efficient ways to power satellites in space helped hurl solar research forward and the cost per watt went from $300 to a mere $20 thanks to discoveries during that time.
Today, that research has improved even more to the point where people can power their homes and sell the excess back to the power company and use solar powered generators for use during emergencies. There is no limit to what solar powered products can provide.
The Science Behind Solar Powered Products
The definition of electricity is simply the movement of electrons, negative ions. The solar panels that power solar backup generators and other items are made up of small photovoltaic cells. That just means they react to light.
The silicon panels have impurities added such as phosphorous and boron to help add electrons to the surface and protons to the bottom. Light is made up of small bits of energy called photons. These photons collide with the surface of the cell and knock off an electron. The conductive plates of the solar panels direct these rogue electrons to wires and a battery where it stores the energy for use.
Solar Versus Other Types of Electricity Production
Most types of electricity production such as coal and natural gas and even renewable types such as wind and water require moving parts to turn electromagnets that create electricity. Solar is one of the few that does not and is why backup solar generators are so quiet. There no combustion needed. Fewer moving parts mean fewer problems, mishaps and breakdowns.
Earthtech Products specializes in solar products for the home as well as commercial applications. We can handle your solar needs from large generators to small solar outdoor lighting.