What are Photovoltaic Cells?

Photovoltaic CellsThe sun is the most powerful form of power known to exist so why not start using some of that power for your home? The introduction of PV  cells has made it possible for the energy to be harnessed anywhere the sun shines, but what are photovoltaic cells?

What are Photovoltaic Cells?

Photovoltaics is the process of creating direct current electricity by transforming the sun’s radiation. Semiconductors are used for the process and are made from many different materials such as monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon, cadmium telluride, and several others. Although there are a few applications where PV Cells are built on the ground, in most cases they are mounted to rooftops.

The most important fact about solar power is that it’s considered to be a renewable energy source. This means that this power source will never run out. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to this form of power. Now it’s time to look at these in more detail.

Advantages of PV Cells

First of all, there is more than enough sunlight reaching the Earth to meet all of our needs. In fact, the 89,000 TW of sunlight would generate 6,000 times more electricity than the average consumed. That’s a huge difference.

Another advantage is that solar power is completely pollution free during their use and any pollution made during the manufacturing of the cells is easily managed by simple pollution control.

Finally, Solar PV (Photovoltaic) Cells require very little maintenance. In fact, after their initial installation, they will operate for years without any intervention. That means that the costs during operation are very low when compared to other forms of power.

Disadvantages of PV Cells

One of the most obvious disadvantages is that solar power isn’t generated at night. Also, the efficiency is reduced in cloudy conditions. This means that the power must be stored for these times or an alternate system is required.

Another flaw is that Solar PV Cells create direct current electricity. Everything in a home runs off of alternating current. Therefore, the DC produced by the solar cells must be converted into AC. When this happens, an energy loss occurs.

Conclusion

In this day and age of economic struggles, everyone is looking for long term solutions to save money while reducing our overall effect on the environment. Although there seem to be countless ways to accomplish this, one of the most beneficial would seem to be the utilization of solar power.  In the decades to come this technology is likely to become more efficient and used in an increasing number of areas.

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