Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Power of Photovoltaic Cells

Photovoltaic(PV) Cells also known as the solar cell is an electrical device that converts the energy of sunlight directly into electricity. PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can be mounted on your roof. The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That's the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof, but you can also fit solar tiles.


Installing your own PV system means that you can generate you own electricity from the free and inexhaustible energy of the sun. A photovoltaic (PV) system never needs refuelling, emits no pollution and can be expected to operate for over 30 years needing minimal maintenance. A typical PV system on a house roof could prevent over 821kg of green house gas emissions during its lifetime. Solar PV needs little maintenance – you'll just need to keep the panels relatively clean. the panels can also be tilted at a certain degree having the additional benefit of being cleaned by rainfall to ensure optimal performance.

A photovoltaic system works by converting the energy of the sun into electrical energy. From an electrical point of view, there are two types of PV system installation : the on-grid, where PV system is also connected to the public power lines so that any excess electricity generated at home can be sold back to the utility company, and the off-grid where the power gathered by the PV panels is stored in a bank of batteries and then converted to AC when required. 

The basic components of a PV system are the Photovoltaic (PV) panels, the Inverter and in the case of the off-grid system there is also the battery bank. 

The PV panels reach their maximum efficiency when they are facing the sun perpendicularly, so with a fixed system this condition is reached for quite a short time during the day. With a tracking system though, the PV panels will be installed on a mount which will follow the movement of the sun, hence increasing considerably the amount of energy gathered.


Looking at the benefits of PV Cells its importance in our lives cannot be ignored. This is one investment which will reap results for the lifetime.

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