About Solar Energy | PV Technology: Cells and Modules | Solar Radiation | Solar Trackers | Solar Farms |

What is Solar Energy?

Solar Energy is the process of using the Sun's energy in order to generate electricity or heat, using a system of mirrors or panels.

Photovoltaic Cells (Solar Cells) convert sunlight directly into electricity. Photovoltaic cells are generally made up of silicon, and are usually arranged on rectangular panels (as shown in the picture above).

How does Solar Power Work?

When the sunlight hits an Photovoltaic cell, the energy knocks the electrons free of their atoms, which allows flow through the material. Resulting Direct Current (DC) electricity is then sent to an inverter for conversion into Alternating Current (AC).

solar panels

Solar Concentration systems generally use mirrors that are arranged in a series of long, parabolic troughs, a circle surrounding a "power tower" or a large round dish. This is done to focus the sun's reflected rays on heat-collection. Concentrated sunlight heats water or heat-transferring liquids to generate steam, which then is used to power turbines to generate electricity, as shown in the below diagram.

solar concentration system

Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about Solar Energy