Solar Photovoltaic Cells

When light shines on a photovoltaic (PV) cell, there are three things that can occur – 1) it an be reflected, 2) it can be absorbed, and 3) it can pass through it. The PV cell is capable of converting light into electricity by the very nature of this semiconductor material. This material has properties of metals and insulators.
When a semiconductor absorbs light, photons of light can transfer their energy to electrons. The electrons in turn flow through the material as electrical current. This current flows out of the semiconductor to metal contacts and then makes its way out to power your home or send it beyond to the electric grid.

This video show how photovoltaic solar cells work to convert sunlight into useable energy.

Here is how solar panels works.

Photovoltaic Panels

photovoltaic panels

As technology constantly advances there are many new green technologies released each day that can help us improve our energy efficiency. One of these technologies is the "Thin-Film solar panel." How are thin-film solar panels being used by consumers today? How do they compare traditional Photovoltaic (PV) panels?

How solar cells

Since each solar panel is built with lots of individual cells, it is important to understand how these cells. According to GE, "Solar cells convert one form of energy (Sunlight) into another form of energy (electricity). When sunlight is reduced or stopped, for example, when a cloud passes in front of the sun, or when the sun sets in the night, the conversion process slows down or stops completely. When the sun, the conversion process resumes. Solar cells do not store electricity. For the night, a solar electric system needs some kind of energy storage, batteries often to take advantage of solar cells instead. "

What is a thin film solar panel?

A panel of thin film is known more for this manufacturing process than its actual size. Considered by many as part of the second generation of photovoltaic cells, thin film solar panels use a manufacturing process that involves applying several thin layers of a reactive substance, sunlight on a base material.

What are the benefits of thin film solar panels?

Unlike their "thick" cousins, thin-film panels use much less raw material in manufacturing. Moreover, cells thin film can be manufactured in a process of large area. This process can be continuous and automated. Another unique feature of the thin film is its ability to be deposited on flexible substrate materials. This means thin-film solar panels can be integrated into roofing tiles and other architectural products. layer panels fine are also much lighter than traditional photovoltaics.

Creating thin film solar panels

Like many new technologies is not all positive. Although thin-film solar panels can provide a way "to produce green electricity is important to realize cost underlying environment. thin panels, like other solar panels are very energy intensive to produce. They also require valuable limited resources such as silicon, copper and cadmium.

Panels vs Traditional thin film solar

While the efficiency of solar cells can vary widely from 6% for amorphous silicon based solar cells, to 42.8% for non-commercial use, the union of several research laboratories of the cell. The most common type available in the market for solar cell is "multicrystalline If" offering between 14-19% efficiency. Despite film Thin solar panels are gaining ground in terms of efficiency, currently offer between 7-9% efficiency.

The lowest rates efficiently low Why should I take into account the thin-film solar panels?

Thin-film solar panels are lighter than traditional crystalline photovoltaic materials. Thanks to its light weight that can be installed in a multitude of places you would never be able to install traditional solar panels. Consider installing a roof, thin-film solar panels are simpler to install because it can avoid large, ugly and expensive roof-mounted racks. Why do you want to install a rack when you can simply tie photovoltaic thin film laminates for your roof? According to a recent article in Mother Earth News takes only "Five to 10 minutes of each sheet of a PV panel roof."

Prices of Thin Film Solar Panel

If you are willing to negotiate loss of income for more flexible installation options that you may be surprised to learn that the thin film at a competitive price compared with the same size as traditional solar panels. Depending on where you buy your panels you should find prices between $ 4 and $ 5 per watt. Remember to include installation cost of your total purchase price of thin film solar panels require less labor to install.

Solar Incentives and discounts

Incentives and rebate programs vary widely depending on where you live, but due to the volume available I encourage you to search for incentives and rebates Online. Database of State Incentives for Renewable Efficiency (DSIR), managed by the Solar Center North Carolina is a great place to start. You can DSIR find here:

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While the thin film are not for all they can offer some people a flexible way to add solar power to your home or business. In today's market, thin-film panels are already competitive and that technology improves you can expect to increase their efficiency. Solar panels can gradually reduce our dependence on fossil fuel based energy. Residential electricity generated by fossil fuels is the third largest contributor of CO2 emissions in the United States.

Do your part to combat warming overall – by going solar.

Sam Greyhawk is an energy efficiency evangelist working with Cool-N-Save(tm), an Energy Star Partner, based in Huntington Beach, California.

Cool-N-Save(tm) is a brand new air conditioner add-on that can be installed in just 10 minutes with no tools required. In the hottest months, your air conditioner can be responsible for up to 90% of your monthly electrical bill. Cool-N-Save(tm) has been scientifically proven by Tulane University to improve air conditioner efficiency by up to 30% – which translates into real monthly savings for you. Saving energy helps fight global warming and Cool-N-Save(tm) is a cost-effective way to reduce your energy usage.

SOLAR PANEL DIY Photovoltaic, Harbor Freight, INSTALLATION Training Video Solar Electricity

Solar Wind Home Energy

Light (particularly sunlight) can be used to create heat or generate electrical power. This is referred to as solar energy.

It is a clean form of energy production, which doesn’t pollute the environment as some other forms of energy production do.

There are two forms of solar energy. The first is solar thermal conversion, which uses sunlight to create heat and then electrical power. The second is Photovoltaic conversion, which uses sheets of special materials to create electricity from the sun. "Photo-" means "light," and "voltaic" means "producing electricity."

solar power alt energy

Solar Thermal Conversion

Solar thermal conversion systems use reflectors or mirrors to concentrate sunlight to extremely intense levels of heat. (Solar means "of the sun," thermal means "of heat" and conversion means "changing something from one form to another.")

You can understand this better if you consider the example of using a magnifying glass to start a fire. You may have heard of this or even tried it before. You can hold a magnifying glass under the sun, and concentrate the light on a small pile of flammable materials. The magnifying glass will make the sun’s heat much stronger, and will light the materials on fire. It has been said that a magnifying glass one meter in diameter, held under the sun, will create a ray hot enough to melt stone.

If you want to experiment, hold a magnifying glass flat under the sun and put your hand under it. Very soon you will need to move your hand away – don’t burn yourself.

Solar thermal conversion systems use mirrors or reflectors to concentrate sunlight onto containers full of liquid. Sometimes water is used. Sometimes other liquids are used, which retain heat better than water.

The liquids are heated up to high temperatures, and this produces steam. The steam is used to turn a turbine. The turning motion of the turbine is used to create electricity.

How does a rotating motion create electricity? When you set up a coiled wire or similar device to rotate between two magnets, it generates an electric current. This is how electric generators work, as well as windmills, nuclear power plants, and other energy plants which use such things as coal, gas, or petroleum.

Windmills use the wind to create the turning motion. Nuclear power or fossil fuels are used to heat water up, thus creating steam to turn the turbines.

Solar heating is another form of solar thermal conversion. In solar heating, an absorber is used to take in sunlight and convert it to heat. The absorber could be something simple, like black paint, or it could be a special ceramic material. A heat absorber is considered to a be good one when it collects at least 95 percent of the sun’s radiation.

The absorbers are then used to heat a fluid, which is then circulated to warm up buildings or to create hot-water supplies.

Photovoltaic Conversion

As covered above, photo means "light." It comes from the Greek word ‘phos,’ which means "light."

‘Voltaic’ means, "producing electric current." The word comes from the name of Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist who was a pioneer in the field of electricity during the 1700’s. (His name is also where the word "volt" comes from.)

Photovoltaic means, "creating electrical energy when exposed to light."

A ‘cell’ is a device that produces electricity. An example of an electrical cell is a flashlight battery.

Photovoltaic cells produce electricity when they are exposed to light. They usually consist of panels. The panels contain two layers of different materials.

When light hits these two layers, one of the layers becomes positively charged, and the other becomes negatively charged.

This works similarly to a regular flashlight battery, which has a positive end and a negative end. When a wire connects the two ends, they produce an electric current.

When the two layers of material in a solar cell are exposed to light, they create an electric current.

The AMOUNT of electricity generated by a solar power cell depends on several factors. Mainly:

-How big is the solar power device, and how much surface is exposed to the sun?
-How strong is the sun? (This depends on time of day, weather, latitude, etc.)
-How long is the solar power device exposed?
-How much impediment is there to the light? (Clouds, mist, dust, dirt, etc.)

In other words, a solar power cell generates electricity faster when the sun (or light) is brighter. A device with larger solar panels will produce more electricity than one with smaller panels. Exposing the cell for a longer period of time will create more electricity than exposing it for a shorter period of time. A panel near the equator will be more effective than one in an arctic region. A solar panel in misty or dusty conditions does not create as much electricity as it would in full, unobstructed sun.

Some solar cells produce only enough current to power small electronic devices, but can be "daisy-chained" (connected together) in order to create more electricity for other items.

Solar cells which produce enough electricity to run larger equipment (such as laptops) may be larger, more expensive, or heavier than the others.

But there are many varieties available. Individuals and companies are consistently striving to create lighter and more efficient portable solar cells.

Solar Energy and the Future

An advantage to solar power is that it can reduce expenses. It can also be portable. When one is backpacking in the wilderness or traveling far from power grids, solar power can provide a means of powering electronic equipment.

Another advantage is, of course, the lack of pollution created by solar energy production. In fact, if all of our electrical energy were produced by such means, we might not be worrying about global warming and the other destructive effects of pollution on our environment.

These threats to our environment also pose a threat to mankind. Solar power could be developed to a point where it, along with other forms of renewable energy, would replace harmful means of electricity production.

It isn’t necessarily impossible to have a clean and safe Earth. We just have to work on it.

how is solar energy produced