What are photovoltaic cells and what do they do?
Photovoltaic cells were first developed in the 1950s for use on U.S. space satellites. They are made of silicon, a special type of melted sand. These energy sources are among the fastest growing solar energy technologies. Devices made up of photovoltaic cells, which are commonly called solar cells or modules, use semiconductive material to directly convert sunlight into electricity.
Although this may sound crazy, solar cells do not have any moving parts. Power is produced when the sunlight strikes a semiconductive material and therefore, creates an electric current.
When sunlight strikes the solar cell, electrons are knocked loose. The loose electrons move toward the treated front surface of the PV Cell. An electron imbalance is created between the front(+) and back(-). When a connector, like a wire, joins the two surfaces, a current of electricity occurs between the negative and positive sides.
Animation created by ME!! (Jenae Meck)
By: vilvam solar
Posted: December 9, 2012, 6:15 am