Photovoltaic Solar Energy House

The sun releases energy in the form of heat and light.

This light energy is composed of photons. Imagine a tiny particle of light that travels in a wave-like motion.

That is roughly what a photon is. When this energy reaches Earth, some of those photons are reflected back into space, while others are captured by living things and, you’ve guessed it, solar panels.

Solar Panel Cells

    • Silicon is the fundamental component of solar panel cells.

When photons touch the active layer of a solar panel, they cause the electrons within the material to ‘jump’ from one molecule to another. The electrons weren’t able to do this before because they didn’t have enough energy. When you multiply this effect by millions of electrons, all traveling in the same direction, you get a flow of electricity.

Solar panel cells and how solar works
This is what the anatomical structure of a solar panel cell looks like

The composition of the materials within a typical silicon solar panel are created to maximize this effect. The construction of the solar cells within a solar panel involves two layers of silicon. The first layer has been doped with Boron to create a negatively charged layer, and the second layer has been doped with Phosphorous to create a positively charged layer. When the two layers are compressed together in the presence of light, the electrons within the Phosphorous layer are compelled to travel to the Boron layer.

Solar Panel Manufacturing

    • The solar revolution’s research has been funded from the billions of dollars generated from the shift of energy demand to renewable energy technologies.


Solar panels are made up of different layers as mentioned in the previous section, but there’s more to it than that. The very top layer is a protective sheet of glass and the very bottom layer is a non-conductive supporting layer. Now that you know all of the vertical layers, it’s time to talk about the horizontal design. Each solar cell is placed next to another solar cell until the panel is full.

The cells are connected together using a conductive strip. Once the solar panels are being mounted on a rooftop, they are connected together, typically on the back of the panel, forming an array of solar panels. Electricity generated by the array then travel to an inverter.

Generating Electricity

    • “Particles of light that travel from the sun every second of the day are called photons”
    • “Photons take approximately 7 seconds to get from the sun to your roof”
    • “Photons from the sun cause a reaction and the magic of solar power generation begins”

electron-in solar panel cell leaving
1) Electron leaving a Silicon atom, creating a gap

1. The photons from the sun hit the solar cells – They loosen some of the electrons which surround the atoms in the silicon solar cells. The negative charged electrons separate from their atoms in the silicon cells.

2) Electron closing the gap in left in the silicon atom

2. Loose electrons now migrate through the electrical current to an available electron gap in the silicon cells. This reaction happens as long the sun hits the solar panels.

solar power-electron-flow in solar panel cells
3) The flow of electrons that produce solar power.

3. Throughout the day, this process is repeated
and the electrons flow in one direction constantly leaving atoms and filling the gaps with different atoms.

This flow of electrons creates an electrical current, or how we like to call it, Solar Power.

Final Result = Free Solar Power

    • The technique has been know and used for over 45 years.
    • The developments and demand has made it more affordable

Darryn Van Hout

By Darryn Van Hout

Since working in the energy sector, I have developed a keen interest in the evolution of renewable energy technology and the importance of sustainability for our future. My background reflects experience throughout the energy field with a large focus on solar power. You can find me on and Twitter.

Blonde-Girl-reading-solar power-blog

Want the scientific explanation to solar energy production?

We tried to simplify the explanation of solar power generation process, however for those of you who are technically minded and have a sound understanding of science or power generation.

The scientific explanation on how a solar panel work


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