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Solar energy from photovoltaic cells

Solar energy from photovoltaic cells is possible thanks to an effect called photovoltaic. The heart of this process are the solar cells made with silicon

The history of the photovoltaic effect  begins in 1878, at the hands of  Alexander Edmond Bequerel , and continues to this day. We are talking about photovoltaic solar energy. This type of energy converts sunlight into electricity through the use of solar panels.

Solar energy: Basic concepts

Energy in the form of solar radiation, is the most universal energy par excellence. Solar radiation provides light, heat, generates air currents, that is, wind, intervenes in the process of photosynthesis, allowing the growth of vegetation, and also in the water cycle.

Solar energy is therefore a fundamental part, in the  generation of other renewable energies , indirectly, but also allows, directly, obtain other types of energy such as  solar thermal energy , in solar collectors,  passive solar energy , through the implementation of passive architectural strategies -crystallizations and thermal inertia-, and finally  electricity  from photovoltaic cells.

The benefits of the use of solar energy in general are multiple , since in the first place, it reduces to the maximum the  energy dependence  of the conventional polluting energies, and on the other hand also minimizes the  negative impact on the environment,  without forgetting its potential to generate employment.

The use of solar radiation as a source of clean energy, to produce  electricity , does not produce CO2 or environmental pollution, and also its maintenance is simple and its  useful life can be 20 years or more, it does not produce noise pollution, it does not depend on a fuel, only from the solar radiation, and allows the  autonomy with respect to the general electrical network , in isolated populations, or the generation of electricity in the buildings themselves in the cities, thanks to the systems of  distributed generation.

Solar energy from photovoltaic cells

On the other hand, it is necessary to consider certain  precautions in its installation and operation equipment . In the first place, its installation can cause  negative visual impact , if it is not properly integrated, or due to the extension it may occupy in high power facilities, it can  affect the ecosystem  of the place.

On the other hand, the use of accumulators in solar thermal, requires control and protection against  legionellosis,  when tanks are used for production of ACS, and in the case of electrical production with photovoltaic cells, such storage is carried out through the use of batteries, which contain  dangerous chemicals .

What is the photovoltaic effect?

The  solar energy , as we all know, is a source of clean energy that can be transformed into electrical energy. The  photovoltaic panels  is the medium used, by sensing direct sunlight primarily and to a lesser extent, the diffuse solar radiation.

Solar energy from photovoltaic cells

The  amount of energy captured , by a panel of photovoltaic cells, will depend, therefore, on the  weather conditions , and especially on its  orientation with respect to the solar rays : perpendicular at all times, to achieve the maximum use.

Solar energy from photovoltaic cells

The transformation of solar energy into electrical energy is due to  the photovoltaic effect . This effect  converts light into electricity , through a medium. The medium used consists of a material that absorbs the photons of light-energy-and then emits electrons. These electrons move by exchanging positions, and producing an electric current.

We all know that  matter is composed of atoms , which in their last layer, contain electrons. These electrons allow the formation of bonds between atoms forming structures, and the  electrical conductivity  of the material will depend on their mobility.

The materials that are used in the manufacture of photovoltaic cells containing solar modules,  silicon  for example, are  semi-conductor materials , which when they capture the solar radiation -pots- release these electrons, which circulate permanently through the material , due to the presence of an electric field.

The electric field is generated by combining in the photovoltaic cell, two layers of semi-conductor material, but with opposite electric charges each layer. An external conductor allows the  flow of electrons from one layer to another , when the cell receives radiation, thus producing an electric current.

Solar energy from photovoltaic cells

Did you find this article helpful? Do you believe in the benefits of this type of renewable energy? Do you dare to use an installation of this type in your home? What do you need for it? Participate with your comments, share it among your contacts.

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