Solar Photovoltaic Energy

First let’s get to know what photovoltaic energy is before we can go ahead to explain how it works. What is photovoltaic (PV) technology and how does it work? PV materials and devices convert sunlight into electrical energy.

A single PV device is known as a cell. An individual PV cell is usually small, typically producing about 1 or 2 watts of power.

These cells are made of different semiconductor materials and are often less than the thickness of four human hairs. In order to withstand the outdoors for many years, cells are sandwiched between protective materials in a combination of glass and/or plastics.

PV Cell/ PV System

To boost the power output of PV cells, they are connected together in chains to form larger units known as modules or panels. Modules can be used individually, or several can be connected to form arrays.

One or more arrays is then connected to the electrical grid as part of a complete PV system. Because of this modular structure, PV systems can be built to meet almost any electric power need, small or large.

PV modules and arrays are just one part of a PV system. Systems also include mounting structures that point panels toward the sun, along with the components that take the direct-current (DC) electricity produced by modules and convert it to the alternating-current (AC) electricity used to power all of the appliances in your home.

where the largest PV system located?

The largest PV systems in the country are located in California and produce power for utilities to distribute to their customers. The Solar Star PV power station produces 579 megawatts of electricity, while the Topaz Solar Farm and Desert Sunlight Solar Farm each produce 550 megawatts.

Photovoltaic cells convert sunlight into electricity

A photovoltaic (PV) cell, commonly called a solar cell, is a nonmechanical device that converts sunlight directly into electricity. Some PV cells can convert artificial light into electricity.

Photons carry solar energy

Solar Photovoltaic Energy
Sunlight is composed of photons, or particles of solar energy. These photons contain varying amounts of energy that correspond to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum.

Solar Photovoltaic Energy

A PV cell is made of semiconductor material. When photons strike a PV cell, they may reflect off the cell, pass through the cell, or be absorbed by the semiconductor material. Only the absorbed photons provide energy to generate electricity.

When the semiconductor material absorbs enough sunlight (solar energy), electrons are dislodged from the material’s atoms. Special treatment of the material surface during manufacturing makes the front surface of the cell more receptive to the dislodged, or free, electrons so that the electrons naturally migrate to the surface of the cell.

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The flow of electricity

The movement of electrons, each carrying a negative charge, toward the front surface of the cell creates an imbalance of electrical charge between the cell’s front and back surfaces.

This imbalance, in turn, creates a voltage potential like the negative and positive terminals of a battery. Electrical conductors on the cell absorb the electrons. When the conductors are connected in an electrical circuit to an external load, such as a battery, electricity flows in the circuit.

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By Trinh

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