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    Add as FriendPHOTOVOLTAIC (PV)

    by: Nur Fathin Asyilah

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    2 : DEFINITION Is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic power generation employs solar panels comprised of a number of cells containing a photovoltaic material. Photovoltaics are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into electricity. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light knocking electrons into a higher state of energy to create electricity. The term photovoltaic denotes the unbiased operating mode of a photodiode in which current through the device is entirely due to the transduced light energy. Virtually all photovoltaic devices are some type of photodiode. Materials presently used for photovoltaics include monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium selenide/sulfide. Due to the growing demand for renewable energy sources, the manufacture of solar cells and photovoltaic arrays has advanced considerably in recent years.
    3 : Solar cells produce direct current electricity from sun light, which can be used to power equipment or to recharge a battery. The first practical application of photovoltaics was to power orbiting satellites and other spacecraft, but today the majority of photovoltaic modules are used for grid connected power generation. In this case an inverter is required to convert the DC to AC. There is a smaller market for off-grid power for remote dwellings, boats, recreational vehicles, electric cars, roadside emergency telephones, remote sensing, and cathodic protection of pipelines.
    4 : HOW PV WORKS ?
    5 : The diagram illustrates the operation of a basic photovoltaic cell, also called a solar cell. Solar cells are made of the same kinds of semiconductor materials, such as silicon, used in the microelectronics industry. For solar cells, a thin semiconductor wafer is specially treated to form an electric field, positive on one side and negative on the other. When light energy strikes the solar cell, electrons are knocked loose from the atoms in the semiconductor material. If electrical conductors are attached to the positive and negative sides, forming an electrical circuit, the electrons can be captured in the form of an electric current -- that is, electricity. This electricity can then be used to power a load, such as a light or a tool.
    6 : A number of solar cells electrically connected to each other and mounted in a support structure or frame is called a photovoltaic module. Modules are designed to supply electricity at a certain voltage, such as a common 12 volts system. The current produced is directly dependent on how much light strikes the module. Multiple modules can be wired together to form an array. In general, the larger the area of a module or array, the more electricity that will be produced. Photovoltaic modules and arrays produce direct-current (dc) electricity. They can be connected in both series and parallel electrical arrangements to produce any required voltage and current combination.
    7 : Today's most common PV devices use a single junction, or interface, to create an electric field within a semiconductor such as a PV cell. In a single-junction PV cell, only photons whose energy is equal to or greater than the band gap of the cell material can free an electron for an electric circuit. In other words, the photovoltaic response of single-junction cells is limited to the portion of the sun's spectrum whose energy is above the band gap of the absorbing material, and lower-energy photons are not used. One way to get around this limitation is to use two (or more) different cells, with more than one band gap and more than one junction, to generate a voltage. These are referred to as "multijunction" cells (also called "cascade" or "tandem" cells). Multijunction devices can achieve a higher total conversion efficiency because they can convert more of the energy spectrum of light to electricity.
    8 : ADVANTAGES The 89 petawatts of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface is plentiful - almost 6,000 times more than the 15 terawatts of average electrical power consumed by humans. Additionally, solar electric generation has the highest power density (global mean of 170 W/m²) among renewable energies. Solar power is pollution-free during use. Production end-wastes and emissions are manageable using existing pollution controls. End-of-use recycling technologies are under development. PV installations can operate for many years with little maintenance or intervention after their initial set-up, so after the initial capital cost of building any solar power plant, operating costs are extremely low compared to existing power technologies. Solar electric generation is economically superior where grid connection or fuel transport is difficult, costly or impossible. Long-standing examples include satellites, island communities, remote locations and ocean vessels. When grid-connected, solar electric generation replaces some or all of the highest-cost electricity used during times of peak demand (in most climatic regions). This can reduce grid loading, and can eliminate the need for local battery power to provide for use in times of darkness. These features are enabled by net metering. Time-of-use net metering can be highly favorable, but requires newer electronic metering, which may still be impractical for some users. Grid-connected solar electricity can be used locally thus reducing transmission/distribution losses (transmission losses in the US were approximately 7.2% in 1995). Compared to fossil and nuclear energy sources, very little research money has been invested in the development of solar cells, so there is considerable room for improvement. Nevertheless, experimental high efficiency solar cells already have efficiencies of over 40% in case of concentrating photovoltaic cells and efficiencies are rapidly rising while mass-production costs are rapidly falling.
    9 : DISADVANTAGES Photovoltaics are costly to install. While the modules are often warranted for upwards of 20 years, much of the investment in a home-mounted system may be lost if the home-owner moves and the buyer puts less value on the system than the seller. The city of Berkeley has come up with an innovative financing method to remove this limitation, by adding a tax assessment that is transferred with the home to pay for the solar panels. Solar electricity is seen to be expensive. Once a PV system is installed it will produce electricity for no further cost until the inverter needs replacing. Current utility rates have increased every year for the past 20 years and with the increasing pressure on carbon reduction the rate will increase more aggressively. This increase will (in the long run) easily offset the increased cost at installation but the timetable for payback is too long for most. Solar electricity is not available at night and is less available in cloudy weather conditions from conventional photovoltaic technologies. Therefore, a storage or complementary power system is required. This is why many buildings with photovoltaic arrays are tied into the power grid; the grid absorbs excess electricity generated throughout the day, and provides electricity in the evening. Apart from their own efficiency figures, PV systems work within the limited power density of their location's insolation. Average daily insolation (output of a flat plate collector at latitude tilt) in the contiguous US is 3-7 kilowatt·h/m² and on average lower in Europe. Solar cells produce DC which must be converted to AC (using a grid tie inverter) when used in current existing distribution grids. This incurs an energy loss of 4-12%.
    10 : APPLICATIONS Power stations In buildings Electronic devices In transports Standalone devices Rural electrification Solar roadways Solar Power satellites
    11 : Figure :- Gleisdorf, Nellis_AFB_Solar_panels, TicketParkingMeter, Solar-crop and Solar_panels_on_house_roof.
    12 : PRINCIPLE OF PV When used in zero bias or photovoltaic mode, the flow of photocurrent out of the device is restricted and a voltage builds up. The diode becomes forward biased and "dark current" begins to flow across the junction in the direction opposite to the photocurrent. This mode is responsible for the photovoltaic effect, which is the basis for solar cells – in fact, a solar cell is just a large area photodiode.
    13 : PV EFFECT The photovoltaic effect involves the creation of a voltage (or a corresponding electric current) in a material upon exposure to electro-magnetic radiation. Though the photovoltaic effect is directly related to the photoelectric effect, the two processes are different and should be distinguished. In the photoelectric effect, electrons are ejected from a material's surface upon exposure to radiation of sufficient energy. The photovoltaic effect is different in that the generated electrons are transferred from different bands (i.e. from the valence to conduction bands) within the material, resulting in the buildup of a voltage between two electrodes. In most photovoltaic applications the radiation is sunlight and for this reason the devices making use of the photovoltaic effect to convert solar energy into electrical energy are known as solar cells. In the case of a p-n junction solar cell, illumination of the material results in the creation of an electric current as excited electrons and the remaining holes are swept in different directions by the built-in electric field of the depletion region. The photovoltaic effect was first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839.

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