Written by Junsoo Kim
How do solar panels produce electricity?
Currently, renewable energy is one of the most extensive interests around the world as people have started to feel the urgency of climate change. Solar energy is one sustainable energy that is well known and most commonly used worldwide. Various technological devices convert solar energies to usable electricity—yet today we will discuss solar panels instead as an alternative source to satisfying human interests.
Solar panels are the most widespread device that collect solar energy. Their history starts with the photovoltaic effect by Edmond Becquerel. Later, Charles Fritts created the first genuine solar cell after the discovery of Becquerel. Prior to this discovery, the solar panel was not made of silicon, but current solar panels are made of silicon.
There are N- and P- semiconductors in silicon solar panels. Before diving into N- semiconductors and P- semiconductors, we should go over what exactly semiconductors are. Semiconductors are materials that have the conductivity value of inductor and conductor. They are used in solar panels made of silicons.
The differences between n- semiconductors and p- semiconductors are that n- semiconductors are a mixture of silicon and phosphorus, and p- semiconductors are a mixture of silicon and boron. P- semiconductors hold excess electrons that conduct electricity, and p- semiconductors do not hold the entire shell. Thus, the n- semiconductor creates a negative charge and p- semiconductor provides a positive charge. When there are different charges, the electric field is created.
After a photon from solar irradiation hits the panel, knocked-out electrons follow the electric field generated and create a current as two ends of semiconductors are connected to a wire.
To learn more in-depth about the electric field, visit
This website can help you understand more about electric fields. The solar panel is an excellent invention for sustainable energies around the world. For high school students in senior levels of physics and chemistry, this insight into how solar panels work is an excellent way to apply learned knowledge to practical ends.