How do solar panels work? – Richard Komp


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The Earth intercepts a lot of solar power: 173,000 terawatts. That’s 10,000 times more power than the planet’s population uses. So is it possible that one day the world could be completely reliant on solar energy? Richard Komp examines how solar panels convert solar energy to electrical energy.

Lesson by Richard Komp, animation by Globizco.


49 replies
  1. P
    P says:

    Shrugged off the space issue rather quickly. While powering a home with panels on the roof uses space that is freely available, places like deserts are eco systems which can be recovered and made green to produce needed food for consumption and trees for carbon absorption.

  2. CG Account
    CG Account says:

    Me in 1970… happy about our future solar world. Me in 2019… investigates powering a simple space heater, and realizing a $10000 investment with banks of wasteful batteries that only last about 5 years are needed. So ya, blame big oil or governments but the reality is scientists and industry can cause innovation on their own. Quit feeding the myth that we could be green if only some people would let it happen. It'll happen naturally if it does.

  3. Daniel Lonorgan
    Daniel Lonorgan says:

    Great video! I have been looking at the best options for solar panels for a small back yard and this video definitely helped me decide. Another video that is helpful for anyone interested in purchasing solar panels is @t

  4. ömer __
    ömer __ says:

    E=m[c]^2 This is the law of relativity of Einstein, According to this law, one gram of radioactive material radiates an energy equal to the amount of speed of light squared ( which is 3×10^8) in the mass of radioactive matter. This law applies to the sun, for that reason sun has not extinguished billions of years since the Earth was formed and even before it was formed. Can you imagine that energy!!!, I never forgot when I asked my teacher, "When will the sun's energy end?"He told me to take tea cups and throw them in the Indian Ocean , when the cups fill the ocean then the energy of the sun ends, I was impressed by this answer and began to care about our dear sun .

  5. dutch master
    dutch master says:

    Great video… very interesting, it sounds like humans need to come together and continue working on increasing the designs and structures of the the solar cells in ways to allow us to harness the suns energy more effectively.. like we’ve got all the right ideas now we just need to dig in a little more on our structure design?

  6. Darkened Shadow
    Darkened Shadow says:

    I think that I have an idea how to store solar energy:
    We just make a generator that gets powered by a turbine that is powered by the solar panels

    So when the solar panel gets sunlight, it will power a generator that will hopefully produce somewhere around 100%+ of the panels power and making the power easier to store

  7. Vic Longdong
    Vic Longdong says:

    there is push for solar in Australia and since Australia started with renewables our electricity cost have risen to become the third highest in the world due to have to have two electricity systems and as more solar panels are installed electricity suppliers are having problems with voltage consistency, also we are hearing hundreds of reports unreliability with the panels themselves lasting years and some even months.

  8. Tracy K
    Tracy K says:

    If this can be done in Wisconsin it can be done anywhere. And it is done everywhere here. Sounds like a solar set-up per household is much more efficient than a power company solar set up.

  9. CR R
    CR R says:

    Yeah, it sounds good right? What is stopping the world to be completely dependable on solar energy? Well, when u tell me where you are going to install all these solar panels around the world, the. We talk. Until then, Nuclear power/fossil fuel babe.

  10. Genie 97
    Genie 97 says:

    In South Africa, the ANC govt expects people to register their solar panels and declare their power usage so that they can charge them for using the natural Sun!. Nothings for nothing when you have greedy politicians who want to bleed the populace dry for their own financial gain.

  11. Nkosikhona Mnamatha
    Nkosikhona Mnamatha says:

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