Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Solar photovoltaic cell

A solar photovoltaic cell is used to convert solar energy into electricity. It is also called a solar cell and directly converts the solar energy into electrical power. A solar photovoltaic cell is made from silicon alloys.

When sunlight falls on solar cells, electrons are excited and move from their positions. These electrons move towards the surface. This creates an electron imbalance between the front and the back surface. If these surfaces are connected by wires, a current passes between the negatively charged and the positively charged surfaces.

The photovoltaic cell converts the solar energy into direct current. This direct current is used for small electronic equipments or for domestic purposes. When the electricity produced by solar cells has to be used for commercial applications, the direct current needs to be converted to alternating current. This can then be supplied for use. The solar energy in the form of electricity can be stored in batteries as well for future use. Solar photovoltaic cells are also used in some experimental cars where solar energy is converted to electric energy to power such vehicles.

The performance of solar cells depends upon the amount of sunlight received. Climatic conditions like fog, clouds etc. have a considerable affect on the working and performance of solar cells because the amount of solar energy received and absorbed is less.

The use of solar photovoltaic cells is becoming more and more popular because solar energy can be directly converted to electric energy without the need of mechanical generators. These cells are easy to use and install.

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