Inside a Solar Panel
A solar panel is a very complicated piece of technology. But if you get the right point of view, you'll understand it well. There is a lot of atoms bouncing around in a solar panel. Some of these cells are photovaltiac cells. Photo means light and valtiac means energy. Together they make light energy. Semiconductors are part of photovaltiac cells. The most commonly used semicounductor is silicon. When light hits the cell, a small portion of the light gets absorbed. This allows electrons to flow freely. While these electrons are flowing, a metal piece is put on the top and bottom and finally allowing you to absorb and use solar energy.
Sometimes there might be loss in solar panels. There might be too much energy or sometimes there might be too much photons and the energy might pass through it, leaving you with no energy. Some people call this the band gap. A band gap determines if there is more or less energy in a solar panel. If there is a low band gap, you lose energy and loose solar power. If you put a metal plate in the bottom, the energy will flow well. But if you completly cover the top, the cells would have a very hard time trying to get through. If you put the metal plates on the sides, the energy would have to travel a long distance to flow.
A solar panel is pretty hard to understand if you're reading an adult version of it. There is band gaps, putting right pieces in the right places and making sure that you are getting enough energy to power what you are using. That is basically what inside a solar panel is!