Solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation is one of the most recognizable examples of sustainable and green technology.

Solar panels have come a long way in recent years, proving themselves to be an efficient and effective source of power generation at both commercial and residential scales.

Here is a brief explanation of how PV cells work: PV cells are made of silicon wafers, which are thin pieces of semiconductor material, that turn rays from the sun into electricity. When they are hit by photons (high energy light particles from the sun), the energy from the photons knocks electrons off the silicon atoms. Those electrons move through the PV cell’s wires as Direct Current (DC) which is then converted into Alternating Current (AC), the form of electricity needed to power our homes, appliances, and electronics. This video also explains how solar PV panels work.

As solar becomes more prevalent throughout the United States, costs have gone down. There are now a growing number of solar power installation companies from which to choose. The Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) that was passed in Illinois in 2016 is also influencing the growth of the solar industry. This new regulation supports new, cleaner methods of energy production (i.e., solar).

 

Resources:

Project Drawdown

National Geographic

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA)

Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA)