Tag Archives: Solar

Third generation photovoltaic cell is on the way

Third generation photovoltaic cells are solar cells that are potentially able to overcome the Shockley–Queisser limit of 31-41% power efficiency for singlebandgap solar cells. This includes a range of alternatives to the so-called “first generation solar cells” (which are solar cells made of semiconducting p-n junctions) and “second generation solar cells” (based on reducing the cost of first generation cells by employing thin film technologies). Common third-generation systems include multi-layer (“tandem”) cells made of amorphous silicon or gallium arsenide, while more theoretical developments include frequency conversion, hot-carrier effects and other multiple-carrier ejection. Continue reading

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Home Solar Systems: Worth the Cost?

Humanity has acknowledged the power of the sun since prehistoric times, awed by the glowing orb whose presence creates day and whose absence plunges the world into darkness.

For all our advances in science and technology, most of the power from the sun still eludes us. NASA reports that we use only one ten-thousandth of the sun’s energy.

Photovoltaic (PV) solar electrical systems offer new and ever-changing ways to harness that energy. The term “photovoltaic” literally means light-electricity.

In 1839, French physicist Edmond Becquerel discovered that sunlight could produce an electric current. Another century would pass before scientists fully understood that this process happens at the atomic level. Albert Einstein’s only Nobel Prize was awarded for his work on the photoelectric effect. By 1958, the space program was using solar cells. Continue reading

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How Solar Energy Works

The need for an alternative source of energy was never as important for mankind as it is today. Fossil fuels, which are being used since thousands of years, are about to get exhausted. More importantly, they are contributing to various hazards on the planet, prominent ones being global warming and pollution. In such a scenario, searching for an alternative source of energy, which is a clean, efficient and renewable energy, has become the utmost priority for mankind. One such source of energy is solar energy. Before we move on to how solar energy works, we need to know what is solar energy and whether it’s the right alternative source of power. Continue reading

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Solar Energy & the Environment

Using solar energy produces no air or water pollution and no greenhouse gases, but does have some indirect impacts on the environment. For example, there are some toxic materials and chemicals, and various solvents and alcohols that are used in the manufacturing process of photovoltaic cells (PV), which convert sunlight into electricity. Small amounts of these waste materials are produced. Continue reading

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