Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert light into electricity. Photovoltaics is the science of “solar cells” and they provide renewable energy. The simplest photovoltaic systems are found in the small calculators we use every day. More complicated solar power systems will provide larger portions of our electricity in the near future. PV represents one of the most promising means of maintaining an energy intensive standard of living with appropriate and technically viable efficiency without contributing to global warming and pollution.
Photovoltaic power is produced via a system of electronic components.
Cell Most often a round or square glass sandwich containing a film of semiconducting material which generates small amounts of electricity when exposed to light
Panel Grouping of cells fixed together to combine electricity output and allow easy construction and movement of cells
Array Grouping of panels wired together to combine power output, often too large to move easily
Charge Controller Regulates battery voltage and controls the charging rate to suit the batteries
Deep-Cycle Battery Efficient type of battery for fast discharge of stored electricity
Inverter Changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) as "plug in" electrical devices use an alternating current
For a more detailed introduction to the practical aspects of the technology see Appropedia:Category:Photovoltaics.
This subdivision is in the Topic:Renewable Energy
This is a series of five fully annotated Power Point presentations created for the solar energy community to assist in the dissemination of information about solar photovoltaic (PV) cells by User:J.M.Pearce.
- The first PV presentation, which is the most technical, covers the science behind PV.
- The second PV presentation is about the basic engineering of photovoltaic systems.
- The third PV presentation is meant to underscore the flexibility of solar photovoltaic modules to provide clean renewable energy for a number of applications.
- The fourth PV presentation discusses the economic impacts of solar photovoltaic cells – from the cost to install a system to their effects on energy related employment and the national economy.
- The fifth PV presentation covers the environmental impacts of solar photovoltaic cells and compares them to some of the impacts from conventional fossil-fuel derived energy.
Note to Educators:
Please feel free to use all or parts of this presentation for your own classes. College and University professors can use the presentations as they stand or expand on the introductory material covered here. Those teaching high school or grade school can borrow the slides that fit your curriculum and remove those that are too advanced for your students. Please share any corrections, modifications or additions that you make with the solar community as well.