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What is photovoltaic effect?
Photovoltaic effect is defined as the phenomenon in which the incidence of light upon the junction of two dissimilar materials, as a metal and a semiconductor, induces the generation of an electromotive force. Simply put, photovoltaic effect is the creation of electric current in a material upon exposure to light and is an electro-chemical phenomenon. Having no moving parts – like turbines etc. which are typical of other forms of electricity production- is a unique advantage of photovoltaic power generation.
The most common material used to make solar PV cells is Silicon because it shares some of the properties of metals and some of those of an electrical insulator. Photovoltaic cells consist of a positive laver and a negative layer of this material. Let’s take a closer look at what happens when the sun shines onto a solar cell.
Sunlight consists of little particles of energy called photons. When this energy in sunlight strikes the silicon based solar cell, electrons are knocked loose from the atoms in the semiconductor material. If electrical conductors are attached to the positive and negative sides, forming an electrical circuit, the electrons can be captured in the form of an electric current -- that is, electricity.
Photovoltaic Cell Explained:
As a photovoltaic cell is exposed to this sunlight, many of the photons are reflected, pass right through, or absorbed by the solar cell. When enough photons are absorbed by the negative layer of the photovoltaic cell, electrons are freed from the negative semiconductor material and naturally migrate to the positive layer creating a voltage differential. When a power load is connected to the 2 layers, electrons flow through the circuit creating electricity.
Each individual solar energy cell produces only 2-4 watts of power. To increase power output, cells can be combined in to a solar module. These modules can then connected with one another to form solar arrays ranging from few hundred watts to several Megawatts thus creating the desired voltage and amperage output required by the given application.
Due to the natural abundance of silicon, the semi-conductor material that PV cells are primarily made of, and the practically unlimited resource in the sun, solar power cells are very environmentally friendly. They burn no fuel and have absolutely no moving parts which makes them virtually maintenance free, clean, and silent. Since all this happens at an atomic level we are unable to see it with naked eyes. This is precisely the reason why solar power systems quietly sit on your rooftops generating clean power for decades.
Sunipod systems consists of optimized arrays made up of Solar Panels manufactured from high quality solar photovoltaic cells.