Solar panels (also known as photovoltaic cells due to their reliance upon light photons to generate power, or voltage) have become a mainstay in many aspects of life ranging from simple solar-powered calculators to orbiting satellites due to their ability to deliver a constant, reliable minor electrical current through silicon-based compounds that generate free-flowing electrons for collection and conversion into usable power.
The primary material behind all modern-day solar panels is highly purified silicon due to the fact that in its purest form is contains only 4 electrons in its outer shell with space for an additional 4 electrons to bond with it. This means that two silicon atoms can bond with each other to share 8 electrons without developing either a positive or negative charge. While by itself this neutral charge is not sufficient for any practical means when combined with a molecule containing one too many electrons in its pure form (such as phosphorus) a molecule containing one too many electrons (9 in total) is created and a negative charge is generated. At the same time combining silicon with a molecule containing one too few electrons (such as boron) generates a positively charged molecule as there will be only 7 electrons out of the desired 8 in total.
In order to utilize both these positively and negatively charged elements an energy collection grid is placed between them in the form of conductive wires that can collect any free flowing electrons that may become free. With the negatively charged panels facing the sun and the positively charged panels beneath them on the other side of the collection grid the solar panel is exposed to the sun. As photons found in light bombard the unstable negatively charged panel the excess electron is freed and drawn towards the positively charged panel, becoming trapped and transferred by the energy collection grid located between the two silicon compounds and transferred to an energy converter for conventional use.
This method is generally not very efficient in many respects as only a single election per molecule can be generated at any given time, however it can produce a reliable stream of energy on a regular basis for conventional consumption. Additionally other radiation found within solar rays can degrade the silicon compounds significantly, meaning that prolonged exposure on a regular basis will lower overall energy productivity over time until alternative collection methods can be developed to combat this occurrence.
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