How, Exactly, Do Solar Cells Work? (It’s Not Magic.)

You’re intrigued by the possible benefits of switching to Oakland solar power.

You’re enticed by the prospect of boosting your home’s value, saving on heating and cooling costs, and “helping the planet.” But you’re also somewhat confused.

How, exactly, do solar cells work?Solar Benefits

The “black box” inside gets incredibly technical, but the gist is actually pretty simple.

Essentially, solar cells take heat energy emitted by the sun and use various processes to translate that energy into usable electrical energy to power your house and meet other needs. The amount of energy that you can extract depends on a host of factors, including:

  • The panel’s angle of inclination (here in Oakland, you should face the panels south);
  • The amount of shade the panels get;
  • Both your general weather and local “microclimate”;
  • The type of array that you use;
  • The amount of solar cells;
  • The age and general quality of those cells;
  • The quality of the installation of the panels;
  • Factors related to the mechanisms and instruments that transmit the solar-generated electricity to the rest of your home;
  • Optimizing and Troubleshooting a Solar Array

Small errors or inaccuracies with respect to how you set up your solar array, maintain it, and troubleshoot can redound to big consequences.

For instance, let’s say you own a set of PV modules. If an overhanging tree branch obscures just a few cells on the modules, your ability to produce power will be massively reduced.

Subtle details — such as the type of the module, the duration and intensity of radiance you get during different seasons, and your home energy usage — can all impact efficiency. This is one of the reasons why do-it-yourselfers run into problems. You may not even notice any issues for the first few months of operation. But over time, bad practices beget a loss of value.

Trust our Oakland solar power experts to deliver effective, budget-smart solutions for your home energy needs. We’d be happy to provide a free estimate. You can also learn more about our services — and how we’ve been able to help customers just like you — here at our website.