A Photovoltaic cell or a solar cell is an electronic device that can convert the sunís rays or solar energy into electricity through photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic refers to the field of technology related to the application of solar cells as solar energy. Photovoltaic cells create electricity directly from the photons. When the photons derived from the sunlight strike a solar cell, some of it go away, reflected by its surface but some also get absorbed within it. These absorbed protons provide energy to help generate electricity. When adequate sunlight is absorbed by the semiconductor, i.e. the silicone material, electrons from the materialís atoms get dislodged. As the especially designed frontal surface of the material is more receptive to the free electrons, they migrate to the surface en masse.

Photovoltaic Cells

When too many electrons, each carrying a negative charge starts traveling towards the frontal surface, the resultantimbalance of charge between the siliconeís front and rear creates a voltage potential similar to the negative and positive terminals of a battery. If at that point of time these two are connected through an external load, electricity flows through them.

History of the photovoltaic cell

The first photovoltaic cell originated in 1954 when Bell Laboratory scientists Gerald Pearson, Daryl Chapin and Calvin Fuller developed the first silicon solar cell which was capable of generating a measurable volume of electricity solely out of sunrays.

Photovoltaic cells are now classified into three generations that are described below.

The first generation cells are single junction devices that are neither cost efficient nor productive. In fact, the first generation solar cells have rather poor cost parity with fossil fuel energy generation (33%). They also cover larger area as compared to later generation cells. Besides, they were expensive, too because of the labor input involved in their production.

The second generation solar cells have been made out of materials that have helped reduction in manufacturing cost. Alternative manufacturing technique like use of vapor deposition and electroplating has further helped production by way of avoiding high temperature processing significantly. The most successful second generation materials have been cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper indium gallium selenide, amorphous silicon and micromorphous silicon These materials are applied in a thin film to a supporting substrate such as glass or ceramics reducing material mass and therefore costs. These technologies do hold promise of higher conversion efficiencies, particularly CIGS-CIS, DSC and CdTe offers significantly cheaper production costs.

The third generation technologies aim at improving the poor electrical performance of the second generation cells while maintaining low production costs.

There are so many advantages of solar power which include its environment friendly nature and its ability to cut electricity bills, that getting solar panels for your home makes a lot of sense. But to benefit from solar power you need to know where to get the Photovoltaic cells cheaply and also where to set up the system and how to do it including completing the wiring. What you need is a guide that will inform you all about this and also show you the safety precautions.