Materials can be divided into three categories when working with
electric conductivity. Conductors and insulators are the most common.
Conductors transfer electricity, while insulators do not. The third
class is known as semiconductors. Semiconductors conduct electricity
only in specific conditions. The PV cells in solar panels are then able
to convert the sun’s energy to usable Direct Current (DC) electricity
by utilizing the semi conduction properties of silicon.
PV cells are created by layering created types of silicon. The,
p-type layer is positively charged, while the n-type is negatively
charged. The n-type is layered overtop the p-type silicon. The two
layers form a barrier where they meet, making it difficult for electrons
to pass between layers. When light hits the two layers, the light
particles (known as photons) transfer energy to the silicon electrons,
eventually causing them to jump from the p-layer into the n-layer. They
then pass through an electric circuit on their way back to the
p-layer. This electric current is the useful form of energy all
electrical generators produce.