Many of us have used solar-powered equipment, most notably the ubiquitous solar-powered calculator that operates without the use of batteries. This technology can be simple, or can be so complex that it can operate an international space station. In the case of providing enough power to run a household, there are solar panels that can be attached to your roof to harness the rays from the sun. The question that many people have is how these rays are then converted into electrical power, with a seemingly endless renewable rate.Solar panels produce usable energy in the same way that batteries or other electrical outlets do, at the heart of the matter. They are able to cause electrons to flow through a circuit. A solar panel is actually composed of separate smaller solar cells. When these smaller cells are exposed to sunlight, (which is why they are usually placed on the roof or any surface that will be under the influence of the sun’s broad rays), a basic chemical reaction occurs. There is energy that is created from photons of the sun’s rays hitting the surface of the panel, causing the electrons of these cells to be basically hit out of their normal orbits and released, causing a strong current of energy.There are electric fields contained within the solar cells that then attract the electrons, helping direct the current flow, which can then be channeled to power anything in the household with the use of circuitry. The scientific name for this whole process is known as the Photovoltaic Effect, and generally the rule is that the more solar cells are included in a solar panel, then the higher the capacity for electrical output will be.A number of factors can influence this solar panel output then, depending on the cells themselves and also of the outside elements that may have an effect on them. Weather conditions, for example, can play a large role in the overall efficiency levels. If the panels are covered by cloudy conditions or excessive shade, the output will not be as great. The angle of the solar panel should also be such that it receives the highest amount of direct sunlight that is possible. It’s possible to install solar panels yourself at home or purchase them already pre-assembled. Before installing any sort of solar energy system, it’s helpful to evaluate if you are in the proper type of climate and have the right rooftop positioning capabilities to harness the power of the sun in an efficient manner.