Solar Power Overview
The basic principle of a solar cell is the conversion of light into electrical power. The sun is an abundant source of light which we can use to generate electrical energy. Solar cells are basically flat wafers of semiconducting material. The material is layered much like a battery that you would use in your flashlight or portable radio. The difference is that sunlight replaces the chemicals that would normally cause or facilitate the movement of electrons. It’s this movement or current that we call electrical energy. In a solar cell when photons from the sun hit the surface of the material in the solar cell an electron is displaced. When you have enough of these electrons being forced to “move” by the barrage of photons coming from the sun a current is generated. It is this current that does the work when you plug things in to any electrical power source.