In an era where sustainable living is becoming more important, solar panels have emerged as an accessible method of harnessing clean energy to reduce carbon emissions and save money on energy bills.

Whether you’re considering making the switch to solar power or you already have solar panels fitted at your home or business premises, it can be helpful to understand a little more about how they work.

In this guide, we’ll explain how solar panels work and offer more insight into the history and benefits of this renewable technology.

The Evolution of Solar Power

The use of solar power dates back to ancient times when civilisations like the Greeks and Romans harnessed the sun’s energy. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that the photovoltaic effect, the process by which sunlight is converted into electricity was discovered.

Fast forward to the 20th century and solar panels using photovoltaic technology are being developed, however, these early panels had extremely low efficiency.

It wasn’t until the 21st century that advancements in technology made solar energy a viable and accessible option for homeowners.

Today, solar panels are used around the world to generate clean energy and are a vital part of many countries’ strategies to reduce emissions.

In the UK, the government has set ambitious targets to transition to renewable energy sources, with a significant focus on solar power. In fact, in the UK alone, over 1 million homes are fitted with solar panels!

Key Benefits of Solar Panels

As solar panel technology has advanced, products have become more affordable and many homeowners and businesses have chosen solar power. The key benefits of solar energy include:

  • Clean and Renewable– Solar panels generate electricity without producing harmful emissions, making them a sustainable and eco-friendly energy source whilst also giving your home or business energy independence.
  • Reduced Electricity Bills – By harnessing the power of the sun, homeowners can reduce their dependence on grid electricity, leading to lower monthly bills. Furthermore, solar battery systems can be used to save even more money in the long run by selling excess energy back to the grid.
  • Low Maintenance – Modern solar panels are durable and require minimal maintenance whilst also having 25 year warranties. Read our blog post to find out more about caring for and maintaining solar panels.

How Solar PV Panels Generate Electricity

At the heart of solar power are photovoltaic (PV) cells, typically composed of silicon, a semi-conductor material.

When sunlight hits these cells, photons are absorbed, creating an electric current. This direct current (DC) is then converted into alternating current (AC) through an inverter, making it compatible with household appliances and the electric grid.

Each panel generates around 350-450 watts of energy and are even effective on cloudy days. Because there is no motor inside the panel, solar panels are completely noiseless.

The Advancements in Solar Panel Technology

Today’s solar panels are a far cry from their predecessors. Technological advancements have led to more efficient and cost-effective panels.

In addition to being more affordable and efficient, modern solar panels require no maintenance, have monitoring systems to track the real-time performance including the energy generated and can continue producing energy at a high rate of efficiency for over 25 years!

Solar Panel Myths

Like any emerging technology, myths about solar panels exist. Some of the most common misconceptions relating to solar PV include:

  • “Solar Panels Only Work In Summer” – Whilst solar panels generate more electricity on sunny days, they still produce energy on cloudy or overcast days. Modern panels are designed to capture all sunlight, ensuring a consistent power supply throughout the year.
  • “Solar Panels Cost Too Much” – Although the initial investment in solar panels may seem substantial, prices have dropped considerably in recent years. Furthermore, long-term savings on electricity often make the overall cost more manageable.
  • “Solar Panels Are Hard To Maintain” – With self-cleaning technology, solar panels require minimal maintenance and care.
  • “Solar Panels Are Prone To Failure” – Modern solar panels are extremely reliable and most come with a 25 year warranty.

Start Your Renewable Journey Today!

Are you ready to start your renewable energy journey?

At Go Green Solar, we are experts in the installation of solar panels and have already helped 100s of homes and businesses across the South West.

To find out more and get a free quote, contact one of our team today on 0117 964 0078, email or fill out our form to request a quote.

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