Here are resources for teachers to share on how solar energy works.
There are a multitude of resources available on the basics of solar energy for all age groups. This section contains a curated list of YouTube videos that provide an introductory overview of how solar photovoltaic systems work. Each video is roughly 3-5 minutes long.
Some are more than five years old, so references to the economics of solar may be out of date. (For instance, renewables reached cost parity with fossil fuels for electricity generation in most countries back in 2021.) The Vox video at the end provides the most recent update on the economics of solar.
How Solar Power Works (briefly) goes over the different parts to a solar system.
Solar Photovoltaics 101 provides a nice high-level overview of solar photovoltaic technology.
How We Turn Solar Energy Into Electricity covers solar basics and a bit on the history of solar.
How do solar cells work? This video is more advanced and covers P- and N-type layers in solar cells.
How Do Solar Panels Work? (Physics of Solar Cells) For the initiated or advanced students, this video delves more into the physics of solar while still remaining fairly accessible.
How solar energy got so cheap This video from Vox covers the precipitous fall in the cost of solar.
TeachEngineering.org is a comprehensive resource for different grade levels. Here are some other recommended lesson plans: