According to Gevorkian (2007, p. 57), these hitches have led humans to seek alternative energy sources such as wind, wave, and solar energy. Solar energy is basically the energy derived from the sun. One way of harnessing this energy is through solar panels. Solar panels are simply devices that convert light energy into electric energy as noted by Mayer, Scully, Hardin, Rowell and McGehee (2007, p. 29). Another name for solar panels is photovoltaics which simply means light- electricity. Yet another name for the solar panel is solar module. More specifically, a solar module refers to a group of solar cells put together and packaged in a frame, and these can be grouped into larger arrays.
Even the most primitive generation of man was aware of the power stored in warmth of the sun. Some early uses of solar energy included home heating, solar cookers, and water desalinations. In the last couple of centuries, humans have been able to make great advancements related to harnessing the immense energy from the Sun. Though just a small percentage of the sun’s energy reaches the earth, it is still possible to create massive power plants that receive energy from it. In 1839 Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered how to explain the means by which photovoltaic effect can be used to create energy. The next century saw the development of solar cells, in 1921 Albert Einstein received Nobel price for his work on photovoltaic effects and in 1941 the first solar cells were invented by Russell Ohl (Energy Matters 2012. PRLOG 2009).
Solar cells are made of materials which are special in function known as semi-conductors. The most common material semiconductors are made of is silicon. When the semiconductor comes into contact with light, it absorbs a portion of it, meaning the light energy absorbed is transferred to the semiconductors (Nelson 2003, p 25). This energy causes a knock on the electron making them to move freely.