Solar Photovoltaic Power Feb07

Solar Photovoltaic Power...

Solar Photovoltaic Power Solar photovoltaic (PV) power is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar energy radiation into direct current electrical power using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Solar PV power is a renewable as well as sustainable energy source. Solar PV power is now the third most important renewable energy source after hydro and wind power in terms of globally installed capacity. Solar cells, also called photovoltaic cells by scientists, convert sun energy directly into electricity. PV gets its name from the process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage), which is called the ‘photovoltaic (PV) effect’. The PV effect refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for an electric current. The PV effect was first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Bequerel in 1839. The term photovoltaic denotes the unbiased operating mode of a photodiode in which current through the device is entirely due to the transduced light energy. Virtually all photovoltaic devices are some type of photodiode. The PV effect of silicon (an element found in sand) was discovered in 1954, when scientists at Bell Telephone discovered that silicon created an electric charge when exposed to sunlight. Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on the earth. Direct conversion of sun energy into electric power in PV cells is one of the three solar active technologies. The other two technologies are ‘concentrating solar power (CSP)’ and ‘solar thermal collectors for heating and cooling (HSC)’. Today PV provides more than 0.1 % of total global energy generation. It has also promising future. Global PV capacity is increasing at an average annual growth rate of more than 40 % since 2000 and it has got significant potential for long term growth in coming years. Solar PV power is a commercially available reliable technology for...