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Mary Bellis

How A Photovoltic Cell Works

By August 24, 2013

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photovoltaicThe "photovoltaic effect" is the basic physical process through which a PV cell converts sunlight into electricity. Sunlight is composed of photons, or particles of solar energy. These photons contain various amounts of energy corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected or absorbed, or they may pass right through. Only the absorbed photons generate electricity. Photo Credit: NASA

You might also be interested in Solar Power, Timeline of Photovoltics, Photoluminescence, How a Photovoltic Cell Works, and The History of Electric Vehicles.

September 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm
(1) Sue Baumgardner says:

Okay, so this is a very simplified explanation, I know. But why, can this method of using the sun’s energy not be used similiarly in running cars? Heating houses, buildings, fueling industry?

September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm
(2) Hasmukh Patel says:

Of course, very detailed! And that’s why I’m MOST interested in knowing:

How this SOLAR ENERGY could be wisely used to REDUCE my regular electric bills?

Please reply, I’m most confident about your promptness.

Thank you,
Hasmukh Patel

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