Solar panels, Solar power system  

Photovoltaic cells

Solar energy is used in many residential, commercial, and industrial environments as a way to reduce monthly energy expenses and create less of an environmental impact than more traditional forms of energy production. Because the sun produces units of energy known as photons, we are able to use specialized equipment to capture and store that energy and use it to heat air and water. Photovoltaic cells are one of the most basic components of solar energy production. Several types of photovoltaic cells are available, and they are used by many different types of people.

Types of photovoltaic cells
Photovoltaic cells rely on the photovoltaic effect to create energy. If you have never heard of the photovoltaic effect, it is a process that involves photons from the sun along with the principles of chemistry. During this process, energy from the sun is absorbed into silicon. Because a charge is needed to produce additional energy, photovoltaic cells also contain phosphorus and boron. When the photons from the sun hit the silicon, electrons begin moving constantly. This constant movement is what produces energy.

There are three types of photovoltaic cells, known as first generation, second generation, and third generation photovoltaic cells. The first generation photovoltaic cells are not as efficient as possible, and they are very labor-intensive, so they may not be used because of the expense. Second generation photovoltaic cells were introduced to the market in an attempt to reduce the expense of energy production while maintaining a sufficient level of energy production. Some second generation photovoltaic cells were successful in accomplishing these objectives, but the amount of energy produced is not always enough. Third generation photovoltaic cells are in the research phase. Researchers want to develop third generation photovoltaic cells that maximize the amount of energy they produce as well as keep the costs of energy production in check.

How photovoltaic cells work
Photovoltaic cells rely on the photovoltaic effect to work properly. Units of energy produced by the sun, called photons, reach panels of photovoltaic cells placed strategically on the exterior of a building. The photons are then absorbed into the photovoltaic cells and the chemical reaction with silicon, phosphorus, and boron takes place. Electrons are allowed to flow freely, so a continued flow of charged particles is created, resulting in energy production.

Use of photovoltaic cells
Photovoltaic cells can be used in residential, commercial, and industrial environments. Photovoltaic cells are used for everything from operating solar-powered calculators to heating air and water in homes and businesses. People who live in rural areas can benefit from the use of photovoltaic cells if they do not live close enough to a power grid to use conventional electricity. Industrial applications of photovoltaic cells include energy production on satellites and space probes, since they cannot access conventional electricity sources from space.

Benefits of using photovoltaic cells
There are many benefits to using photovoltaic cells in the production of energy for homes and businesses. One of the benefits is that photovoltaic cells rely on photons to produce energy. Photons come from the sun, which is a renewable energy source, unlike the fossil fuels we rely on heavily now. Using solar energy is also much cleaner than using other traditional forms of energy production, so the environmental impact of energy production is reduced. Using photovoltaic cells can be costly at first, but once all of the equipment has been purchased and installed, users can experience substantial monthly savings on their energy bills. This money can be put into a savings account or used for something more fun such as a small vacation or a new wardrobe. Regardless of the benefits experience by others, you don't know what you'll get out of using photovoltaic cells until you try using them in your own home or office building. They can be purchased and installed in a relatively short amount of time, which means you can start reaping the benefits of solar energy sooner rather than later.

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