Please explain

Asked by  | 21st Mar, 2009, 11:24: AM

Expert Answer:

A solar cell or photovoltaic cell is a device that converts sunlight directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect.Sometimes the term solar cell is reserved for devices intended specifically to capture energy from sunlight, while the term photovoltaic cell is used when the source is unspecified. Assemblies of cells are used to make solar panels, solar modules, or photovoltaic arrays. Photovoltaics is the field of technology and research related to the application of solar cells in producing electricity for practical use. The energy generated this way is an example of solar energy (also called solar power).

 

How it works?

  1. Photons in sunlight hit the solar panel and are absorbed by semiconducting materials, such as silicon.
  2. Electrons (negatively charged) are knocked loose from their atoms, allowing them to flow through the material to produce electricity. Due to the special composition of solar cells, the electrons are only allowed to move in a single direction. The complementary positive charges that are also created (like bubbles) are called holes and flow in the direction opposite of the electrons in a silicon solar panel.
  3. An array of solar cells converts solar energy into a usable amount of direct current (DC) electricity.

Answered by  | 27th Mar, 2009, 12:08: PM

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