Before buying a solar system, it is wise to conduct some research first. This article seeks to explain an important term in the “Solar energy vocabulary ” that you should know.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology converts the sun’s energy into direct current electricity by using semiconductors.
What is “Photovoltaic Technology” and how does it work?
- “Photovoltaic technology” is the term used to describe the hardware that converts solar energy into usable power, generating electricity from light.
- At the heart of photovoltaic (otherwise known as PV) technology is a semiconductor material that can be adapted to release electrons, the negatively charged particles that form the basis of electricity.
- The most common semiconductor material used in photovoltaic cells is silicon, an element most commonly found in sand.
- There is no limitation to its availability as a raw material; silicon is the second most abundant material in the earth’s mass.
- Photovoltaic panels are made up or a series of cells. All these cells have two layers of semi-conductors, one positively charged and one negatively charged.
- When light shines on the semi-conductor, the electric field across the junction between these two layers causes electricity to flow, generating DC (direct current).
- The greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity. A photovoltaic system does not need bright sunlight in order to operate. It can also generate electricity on cloudy days.
- Due to the reflection of sunlight, days with slight cloud can even result in higher energy yields than days with a completely cloudless sky.
references: https://phlebas.co/ | video: www.studentenergy.org | https://segensolar.co.za/