How Solar Works
We took solar power from stationary to portable, from rooftops to backpacks. Powering your phone, headlamp, camera or whatever essential gear is in your kit from the sun is a reality. It’s a little surreal, opening a solar panel, plugging in a phone, and watching as it starts to charge. The science behind solar is powerfully interesting:
- THE SOLAR POWER HOUSE – Nuclear fusion at the sun’s core creates energy, released in the form of light. The sun’s light takes an 8½ minute trip to the earth – even though we’re 93 million miles apart.
- ELECTRON PLAYGROUNDS – Solar panels contain two layers of carefully grown silicon slices with a uniform pathway in between. Energetic electrons in the negatively charged top layer are itching to jump to the positively charged bottom; all they need is a little push in the right direction.
- SUN SPONGES – Think of it like solar billiards. Visible and invisible light from the sun hits the top-layer electrons like a cue ball, and gives them the push they need to break loose and race toward the bottom layer, creating a current as they move.
- HERDING THE ELECTRON FLOW – Pathways created in the solar panels harness moving electrons, acting like a waterslide and forcing the energy where you want it.
- PLUGGING IN – An open solar panel is generating quite a bit of energy; the key is to harness that power and put it to good use. Placing a battery in the middle of the electron waterslide allows you to collect and store energy – which charges your battery.