Orchid Energy

The sun, a nearly infinite energy source, has been the linchpin of life on Earth. The process to
convert sunlight into usable electricity, however, is a product of recent innovation, technical
prowess, and increasing environmental awareness.

At the core of this technology are photovoltaic cells, primarily made of silicon. These cells
have a singular ability: when exposed to sunlight, they catalyse a process where sunlight
excites electrons. These agitated electrons move in a manner that produces an electric

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Robert G. Sutton, left, and Cpl. Moses E. Perez, field wireman with Combat Logistics Regiment 15 install new solar panels on Combat Outpost Shukvani, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Nov. 19, 2012. Sutton and Perez installed the solar panels to provide power to radios, laptops, and computers in the event of power outages.(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexander Quiles/Released)

Different types of solar panels cater to varying needs:

Monocrystalline panels: Their high efficiency and uniform appearance are due to the use of
single-crystal silicon. With efficiencies often over 20%, they’re the choice for maximum
energy generation from limited space.

Polycrystalline panels: Using multiple crystals, they might offer slightly reduced efficiency but
tend to be more affordable.

Thin-film panels: Composed of several thin layers of sunlight-absorbing materials, they’re
flexible and lightweight.

Solar technology isn’t static. Bifacial panels, which generate energy from both sides, or solar
trackers that follow the sun to maximize efficiency, represent the field’s ongoing evolution.

With climate change on the horizon, understanding solar technology’s basics isn’t just for the
environmentally conscious homeowner; it’s a necessity for all. By appreciating how sunlight
gets transformed into electricity, we can better embrace and promote a sustainable future.

To start your solar journey, contact Orchid Energy at 01483 963711 or
info@orchidenergy.co.uk, and let’s harness the power of the sun together.

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