Sunlight Solar Energy

Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc. is one of the leading photovoltaic design and installation corporations in the US and is an approved contractor under energy fund photovoltaic programs in 5 states.

SSE quotes you a complete "turnkey" solar photovoltaic installation, including all necessary paperwork, permits and contracts. Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc. is a premier dealer of SunPower.

SunPower panels and inverters are high performance and intelligent design.


Solar Energy – Turning Sunlight into Electricity

Solar energy could be used to generate electricity on a large scale if solutions were found for certain problems. At present it is too difficult to produce large amounts of solar energy and store it for times when the sun is not available such as overnight, on overcast days or at high latitudes. However let’s take a look at the way in which sunlight can be turned in a source of electrical power.

Solar energy keeps us all alive. The heat and light from the sun is what keeps the earth at the correct temperature. It is the sun’s energy that keeps almost all living organisms alive. It is the sun that determines natural systems and cycles. About 95% of the energy from the sun is given off as light that we can see. However the light that we can see is only a small amount of the sun’s total energy.

The "photovoltaic effect" is a process through which a PV cell changes sunlight into electricity. The light from the sun is made up of photons. These are particles of solar energy. Depending on their wavelengths, each photon contains different amounts of energy. When photons strike a PV cell they are reflected, absorbed, or pass right through.

So how does solar energy produce electricity? When a photon is absorbed it can generate electricity. Then the energy of the photon is transferred to an electron in the PV cell (a semiconductor). The electron escapes and becomes part of an electrical circuit. When it escapes it makes a tiny hole. The PV cell has a built-in electric field. This enables the cell to provide the voltage needed to drive the electrical current into a light bulb.


Generating Power from Solar Energy

How Sunlight is Converted to Electricity Using Photovoltaic Process

Solar power is electricity that is generated from sunlight, and is a common choice of renewable energy for households and for large companies. There are two basic forms of solar power in current use: photovoltaics and solar thermal power.

Photovoltaic Solar Power

Photovoltaic systems, such as conventional solar panels, directly convert sunlight into energy using the principles of the photovoltaic effect. The photovoltaic effect takes advantage of the properties of semiconductor materials, with silicon being the primary material used in photovoltaic solar cells. When photons strike the solar cell, electrons in the semiconductor material are shaken loose, allowing them to flow as electricity. This electricity is direct current (DC), and can be directly used to charge batteries, or can be connected to an inverter to power alternating current (AC) components, or to be connected to the local electrical grid.

Traditional photovoltaic systems are based on silicon. Silicon ingots are sliced into wafers that are fabricated into cells. Cells are combined into modules, which are packaged into end-user systems. Silicon-based solar cells have efficiencies of approximately 14-19%. However, newer systems that use gallium arsenide, another semiconductor material, can be made into thinner and more flexible modules. These "thin film" modules can presently produce efficiencies up to 30%, but currently cost more to fabricate than traditional silicon-based modules.

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