How Do Solar Panels Work? A Quick Guide

Did you know that by 2035, over 40 percent of the U.S electricity supply will come from solar panels? And since buying solar panels has become more affordable, we could reach that percentage a lot sooner than expected.

Most people know that solar energy provides a cleaner and safer future for our planet. But, how do solar panels work? If you’ve asked yourself that question in the past, we’ll give you a brief breakdown in today’s post. 

The Basics of Photovoltaic Cells

Whenever photon lights hit a solar cell, their electrons become separated from them. At the same time, attached to the photovoltaic cells are positive conductors that attract the electrons, forming an electrical circuit. Additionally, a negative conductor absorbs unused electrons and sends them back to the positive side.

There are dozens of solar cells on home solar panels, and once you connect these solar panels, they form a solar array. And the larger the solar panel installation, the more energy is generated. But, as you may know, solar power generates DC (Direct Current) electricity, so how do you convert it to AC (Alternating Current)?

Solar Inverters

In simple terms, a solar inverter changes the direction of the electrical current rapidly enough that it becomes AC power. These solar inverters utilize MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) to get the maximum achievable power from the solar array. Solar companies have been using micro-inverters instead of standard ones in recent years.

These micro-inverters optimize not only the entire solar panel but each photovoltaic cell, which means you’ll get tons of more energy from your panels. And as the name implies, mico-inverters are compact and lightweight so that you can install them anywhere. Now that you understand the basics of solar panels, let’s briefly talk about the different types of home solar panels.

Different Types of Solar Panels

The most popular solar panels are monocrystalline and polycrystalline. While they all have the same basic principle of solar energy generation, they both work slightly differently. So let’s briefly explain each one.


This is the most dominant type of solar panel since energy experts consider it the most efficient one. One reason they’re efficient is that the photovoltaic cells are made from silicon crystals (which is why the panels are black). These silicon crystals are more effective at retaining energy, which means you’ll always have solar energy to use. 

So, be sure to ask your local solar company for this type of solar panel if you want the best bang for your buck!


Polycrystalline was the first type of solar panel to come out in the market and is still popular to use today. One of the main benefits of polycrystalline solar panels is that they’re a lot cheaper than other solar panels, but you’ll not have as much energy absorption.

How Do Solar Panels Work – Answered 

So, how do solar panels work? Hopefully, you know the answer to that question now!

But, of course, learning everything about solar panels takes lots of research, so be sure to continue your investigation if you want to know more about them. And, be sure to save this article so you can refer to it when needed.

Would you like to know all the benefits of solar panels and green energy? If so, be sure to check out our other posts that can help you live a more energy-efficient life!

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