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Silicon Panels

March 29th, 2016
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How do solar panels work? Whether in a calculator solar power or an international space station, the solar panels generate electricity from the same principles of electronics like chemical batteries or standard receptacles. With solar panels, we refer to the movement of electrons through a circuit. To understand how solar panels generate electricity, we will make a quick return trip to chemistry class at school. The basic element of the solar panels is the same element that helped create the computer, pure silicon revolution. When Silicon is stripped of all impurities, is an ideal platform for the transmission of electrons. Silicon also has some properties at the atomic level that make it even more attractive for the construction of solar panels. The silicon atoms have room for eight electrons in its outer bands, but only carry four in its natural state. This means that there is space for four more electrons.

If an atom of Silicon makes contact with another atom of silicon, each receives another four-electron atom. This creates a strong link, but there is a positive or negative charge because the eight electrons satisfy the needs of the atoms. Silicon atoms can combine in the coming years as a result of a large piece of pure silicon. This material is used to form the plates of solar panels. Here is where science comes in. Two pure silicon plates do not generate electricity in solar panels, because they have no positive or negative charge.

Solar panels are created by the combination of silicon with other elements that have positive or negative charges. Phosphorus, for example, has five electrons to offer to other atoms. If silicon and phosphorous are chemically combined, the result is eight electrons with an additional free electron for the ride. In order that the electricity flows, should also create a positive charge. This is accomplished through solar panels in the combination of silicon with an element such as boron, which only has three electrons to offer.