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About Us
June 2001 IBEW Journal
Photovoltaic System

What Are Solar Cells?

  • Thin wafers of silicon
    • similar to computer chips
    • much bigger
    • much cheaper!
  • Silicon is abundant (sand)
    • Non-toxic, safe
  • Light carries energy into cells
  • Cells convert sunlight energy into electric currentthey do not store energy
  • Sunlight is the fuel

How solar Cells Change sunlight Into Electricity

  • Light knocks loose electrons from silicon atoms
  • Freed electrons have extra energy, or voltage
  • Internal electric field pushes electrons to front of cell
  • Electric current flows on to other cells or to the load
  • Cells never run out of electrons