Understanding Solar Panels

Solar energy has emerged as a powerful and sustainable solution for meeting our energy needs while reducing our environmental impact.

How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, work by converting sunlight into electricity that you can use in your home. They do this using a technology called photovoltaics.

The photovoltaic process begins when sunlight hits the solar panel. The solar panel is made up of many solar cells, which are composed of semiconductor materials such as silicon. When the sunlight hits these cells, it excites the electrons within the silicon, causing them to move. This movement creates an electric current, which the solar panel captures and channels for use in your home.

This electricity is generated as direct current (DC), but most home appliances use alternating current (AC). Therefore, the DC electricity from the solar panel needs to be converted into AC electricity. This conversion is done by a device called an inverter, which is typically part of your solar power system.

When your solar panels generate more electricity than your home can use, the excess power can be sent back to the grid if your system is grid-tied, or stored in a battery if your system includes one.

For a more in-depth explanation of how solar panels work, please feel free to reach out to one of our solar professionals.

Solar Panels

Types of Solar Panels

There are three main types of solar panels used in residential solar installations: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are made from single-crystal silicon. They are recognized by their black color and uniform appearance. These panels are the most efficient, meaning they can convert more sunlight into electricity compared to the other types. However, they are also typically the most expensive.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are made from silicon that is cast into a mold, forming multiple crystals. These panels have a bluish color and a speckled appearance. They are less efficient than monocrystalline panels, but they are also less expensive.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Thin-film solar panels are made by depositing a thin layer of photovoltaic material onto a substrate. These panels are the least efficient of the three types, but they are also the least expensive. Thin-film panels can be flexible, which can make them a good choice for certain applications.

Let’s embark on this enlightening exploration of solar energy with Your Home Solar and discover how the power of the sun can transform the way we live, work, and preserve our planet for generations to come.

Factors Affecting Solar Panel Efficiency

There are several factors that can affect the efficiency of your solar panels, which is the percentage of sunlight hitting the panel that is converted into electricity.


Solar panels typically work best at moderate temperatures, and their efficiency can decrease if they get too hot.

Sunlight Intensity

The intensity of the sunlight hitting your solar panels can affect their efficiency. More intense sunlight will allow the panels to generate more electricity.

Angle and Orientation

The angle and orientation of your solar panels can significantly impact their efficiency. In general, solar panels should face the direction where they will receive the most sunlight, which in the United States is typically south.

Dust and Debris

Dust, dirt, and other debris on your solar panels can block sunlight and reduce their efficiency. Regular cleaning can help ensure your panels are operating at their best.

Age of the Panels

Like most technologies, solar panels can become less efficient over time. However, good quality panels should still produce a significant amount of electricity even after 20 or 25 years.

System Design and Wiring

The design and wiring of the solar panel system can affect efficiency. Properly sized cables and well-designed electrical connections minimize power losses and maximize energy production.

Empower Your Home with Solar Energy in East Tennessee!

Your Home Solar offers an incredible opportunity to empower your home with clean, renewable solar energy. Contact us today for a free consultation.