A solar panel is a key electrical item that generates electricity current under sunshine. It consists of dozens of photovoltaic cells.
The solar cells inside the solar panel is covered with semiconductor properties encapsulated material to protect it from the environment. These properties enable the light to go through the material while hit on the cells, or more precisely, the photons from the sun fall on the cells and the cells convert their energy into electricity. This process is called the photovoltaic effect.
On both sides of the semiconductor,there is a layer of conducting material that collects the electricity produced. The illuminated side of the panel also contains an anti-reflection coating.This coating can minimize the losses due to reflection. The majority of solar panels produced worldwide are made from crystalline silicon, which has a theoretical efficiency limit of 33% for converting the Sun’s energy into electricity. While in real practice, solar panels for civil use can hardly reach 18% due to various factors like rain, cloud, dust, aging and etc.
Does human only have such low efficiency of solar energy production after so many years of civilization? No, surely not. There are any other semiconductor materials developed to make solar panels. These new materials are rather expensive and difficult to produce. Generally they are used on special purpose such as space workstation, its price halts it from entering consumer market.