A Need to Know Beginners Guide to Solar Power


The first modern solar cell was created in 1954 by Bell Labs carried silicon used in the manufacture of solar cells. By combining the cells together, a solar panel and in turn the combination of panels creating a solar panel is created.

The solar cells that you see on calculators are called photovoltaic (PV) cells. The sun’s rays emit about 1,000 watts per square meter of energy in the planet’s surface, and when the sun hits the solar cell, solar energy “leakage” through the metal contacts of the cell. Photovoltaic cells are made of special materials called semiconductors, composed mainly of silicon. When light strikes the cell, a part of the energy is absorbed by the semiconductor material and the energy of the striking electrons loose and allowed to flow freely.

Photovoltaic cells have one or more electric field forces the electrons to move in a direction known as a stream. By adding metal contacts on the top and bottom of the cell, we can get that power for our own use. The current with the cell voltage defines the power of the solar cell can produce.

Silicon is used in solar cells due to some special chemical properties. In addition to being plentiful, a silicon atom has 14 electrons, arranged in three different projectiles. The first two rounds – that meet two eight electrons, respectively – are completely filled. The outer layer, however, is only half full of four electrons. A silicon atom will always look for ways to fill his last over. To do this, he will share electrons with four neighboring atoms. It’s like every atom holds hands with its neighbors, except that in this case, each atom has four hands joined to four neighbors. This is what makes the crystal structure and this structure is important for this type of photovoltaic cell. Ugh! That’s a lot of science.

Solar energy arrives, so light and not all types of light work for generating electricity with solar cells. Photons of light come in different energy ranges. If there is insufficient energy, photons pass through the panel if the photons have too much energy, which effectively recover and lost. Only a certain amount of energy is needed to knock an electron loose, call the energy bandgap of a material. It is possible to select a material with low band, but this will lead to a lower voltage. To generate electricity with solar cells, we are in search of the “Goldilocks” bandgap energy.