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What Is the Difference Between a Solar Panel & Solar Array?

Solar power can literally save the world.  We’re now at the point where human civilization is the driving force on our planet. It is our actions, our consumption of resources, and even our way of life that has the greatest impact on the environment and our ecosystems. Because of a growing awareness of our role and responsibility for the world, new, cleaner and greener forms of energy creation are being developed and installed over older models.

Solar power is one of the most popular and effective energy alternatives. And while most people are now familiar with the terms solar energy or solar power, and even understand that they refer to “power from the sun,” few people have a solid understanding of exactly what that means and the process behind it. For example, does where does the electricity come from? Is there a difference between solar panels and solar arrays? What is it?

Let’s get into some detail now!

How Solar Works

For people who choose to get solar panels in Massachusetts, all that’s generally known is that these panels are installed somewhere, and electricity comes from them. It’s important to understand how this whole process works. Solar panels are a clever mechanism that is created by two separate layers one charged positively and the other charged negatively. They are “sandwiched” together to form a single solar cell. However, these positive and negative layers are incomplete; they need something to interact with them to complete the circuit and create electricity.

And that is where the sun comes in.

Photons, particles emitted by sunlight, can “knock out” electrons from the panel’s layers, and these stray electrons interact with the positive and negative layers of the cell, completing the circuit and allowing electricity to be produced.

Putting It to Use

Anyone interested in solar installation in Boston needs to do an assessment of just how many solar—or photovoltaic—cells can be accommodated on their property. A group of solar cells is put together in standardized arrangements known as solar panels. Because they’re standardized, you can determine just how much power can be generated from one solar panel.

Then, when it comes time to arrange solar panels for a home or business, that’s where things can be customized. How to organize solar panels on a property depends on many different factors, chief among them is just how much sunlight a property receives and where. Some properties may have panels installed only on the roof. Others may have a sizable property, where panels can be laid out on the ground itself.

It is this final configuration of total panels and the shape of the configuration that is known as a solar array. And it will vary widely from one property to the next, depending on the size of the space involved and the energy needed.

So the next time you see solar panels on a roof, or on the side of a building, you’ll be seeing different types of solar arrays!