kernenergien | solar sutainable strategy

Photovoltaics

Photovoltaics converts the solar radiation directly into electricity by using the photovoltaic effect. In integrated semi-conductor circuits (photovoltaic or solar cells) sunlight generates positive and negative elementary particles, which can be used for direct current.

The application field of photovoltaics is quite large. On the one hand small devices like watches or calculators can be used independently from the energy grid. On the other hand, converted to alternating current, a row of solar cells can serve the energy grid with a power up to several MW. This electricity production causes no emissions, but the ones which arise during the production of the photovoltaic components. If the energy used for the production was also produced by photovoltaics or similar sources, the electricity could be utterly lacking emissions.

The most common semi-conductor material is silicon The efficiency is depending of the purity of the silicon. Therefore it is classified in monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous. The most efficient and therefore the most expensive photovoltaics are monocrystalline.

The picture shows the annual global irradiance in kWh/m².

Further basic information can be found at Wikipedia.

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Source: DLR