How we use energy and how we view it is changing. The era of fossil fuels is drawing to an end and in its stead stands solar power, a revolutionary technology, which is illuminating the future and leading the way in green and renewable energy.
At the core of solar power lies photovoltaic technology, which converts sunlight into the electricity needed to run our homes and businesses. The theory behind photovoltaic technology is simple but very effective, let’s take a look at how the process works, the products which use it, and its implications for the future of solar panel energy.
The Photovoltaic Effect
Photovoltaic technology works by turning solar radiation energy into electricity. A solar panel consists of a number of Photovoltaic (PV) cells (usually 40 in number) which together form solar modules. These cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material such as silicon. When light hits these cells and create an electric field across the layers. This process is called photovoltaic streaming. The amount of electricity generated is dependent on the strength of the sunshine.
The Power of Photovoltaic
The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). Usually, PV systems consist of panels which are installed on an existing roof, but solar tiles can also be used. Predominantly photovoltaic technology is used to provide electricity to homes, but environmentally friendly factories are also taking advantage and many of the street lights which illuminate our streets use photovoltaic technology. Electronic gadgets such as watches and calculators also use the photovoltaic effect and mobile phones which operate solely through solar power have also been produced.
The Future of Photovoltaic
The UK Prime Minister David Cameron has sincerely expressed his desire to make his Government the greenest and most environmentally aware in history, and he is not alone. All over the world, countries focusing on green energy are working together to improve photovoltaic technology. It is hoped that by 2050 the world will be unified in its effective use of clean energy.
This is possible because photovoltaic technology can not only generate electricity, it can also store it in a range of batteries which enables remote rural electrification in areas which are without a main electricity grid or where the cost of connection is prohibitively high.
The Benefits of Photovoltaic
In comparison to fossil fuels and nuclear power plants, Photovoltaic technology affords everyone a pollution free source of energy. It is a clean and green energy which is cost-effective and beneficial to the environment. With solar energy nothing is wasted. Any surplus energy produced can either be stored or sold, and the panels themselves have a very long life and require zero maintenance.
Our old ways of using and viewing energy are self-destructive and need to change. The more people who become aware of the power of solar energy and chose to install photovoltaic technology in their home, then the more affordable it will become, enabling universal access to this cleanest, greenest and most revolutionary form of energy in existence. If you haven’t already, now is the time to make the switch and go solar.
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