A solar cell or photovoltaic cell is a device that converts solar energy into electricity by the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaics is the field of technology and research related to the application of solar cells as solar energy. Sometimes the term solar cell is reserved for devices intended specifically to capture energy from sunlight, while the term photovoltaic cell is used when the source is unspecified.Assemblies of cells are used to make solar modules, which may in turn be linked in photovoltaic arrays.Solar cells have many applications. Individual cells are used for powering small devices such as electronic calculators. Photovoltaic arrays generate a form of renewable electricity, particularly useful in situations where electrical power from the grid is unavailable such as in remote area power systems, Earth-orbiting satellites and space probes, remote radiotelephones and water pumping applications. Photovoltaic electricity is also increasingly deployed in grid-tied electrical systems.Silicon photocells are seen in many places but the technology is limited. Crystalline silicon will never give tightly rollable devices let alone transparent ones or even low cost power generation on flexible substrates.
Dye-sensitized solar cell is considered the low cost solar cell. This cell is extremely promising because it is are made of low-cost materials and do not need elaborate apparatus to manufacture, so it can be can made in a DIY way and allows allowing more players produce it than other any other type of solar cell.In bulk it should be significantly less expensive than older solid-state cell designs. It can be engineered into flexible sheets. Although its conversion efficiency is less than the best thin film cells, its price/performance ratio should be high enough to allow them to compete with fossil fuel electrical generation
Solar cells are often electrically connected and encapsulated as a module. PV modules often have a sheet of glass on the front (sun up) side , allowing light to pass while protecting the semiconductor wafers from the elements (rain, hail, etc.). Solar cells are also usually connected in series in modules, creating an additive voltage. Connecting cells in parallel will yield a higher current. Modules are then interconnected, in series or parallel, or both, to create an array with the desired peak DC voltage and current.
Simple explanation1. Photons in sunlight hit the solar panel and are absorbed by semiconducting materials, such as silicon.2. Electrons (negatively charged) are knocked loose from their atoms, allowing them to flow through the material to produce electricity. The complementary positive charges that are also created (like bubbles) are called holes and flow in the direction opposite of the electrons in a silicon solar panel.3. An array of solar panels converts solar energy into a usable amount of direct current (DC) electricity.
"One sun" is a measurement equal to the solar power incident at noon on a clear summer day. I.e. in a 2300 sun system, approximately 230 watts per square centimeter are concentrated onto the cell system.
Solar cells are manufactured primarily in Japan, Germany, USA, and China, though numerous other nations have or are acquiring significant solar cell production capacity. While technologies are constantly evolving toward higher efficiencies, the most effective cells for low cost electrical production are not necessarily those with the highest efficiency, but those with a balance between low-cost production and efficiency high enough to minimize area-related balance of systems cost. Those companies with large scale manufacturing technology for coating inexpensive substrates may, in fact, ultimately be the lowest cost net electricity producers, even with cell efficiencies that are lower than those of single-crystal technologies.