Photovoltaic (PV) Solar System: Knowing the Basics

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Photovoltaic (PV) Solar System: Knowing the Basics

We may have been introduced to a similar solar system which will lead us into thinking more of the sun, the planets, the satellites, numerous comets, asteroids, and meteoroids, and several celestial bodies in between. Just as this traditional solar system tells us that the sun is the center of the solar system, the modern solar system also agrees with it; although there are no planets involve, and any rotations and revolutions included. This modern-day solar system is called the Solar PV System.

History of the PV System: How it was discovered

The term photovoltaic gets its name from the process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage). This conversion is called the PV effect which was discovered in 1954 when scientists at the Bell Telephone discovered that silicon creates an electric charge when exposed to the sunlight. Soon, solar cells (also called photovoltaic cells) were used to power space satellites and smaller items such as calculators and watches.

The Beginning

Although Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel’s (on some accounts is Antoine-Cesar Becquerel) experiment did not establish the creation of solar cells, his first move certainly paved the way to it. In 1839, the French physicist found and observed the first PV effect by concentrating the sun’s rays onto different materials which succumb electrical charge. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the first genuine solar cell was built around 1883 by Charles Fritts, who used junctions formed by coating selenium, which is a semiconductor, with an extremely thin layer of gold. Then, in 1941, the silicon solar cell was invented by Russell Ohl. In the year 1954, Gerald Pearson, Calvin Fuller, and Daryl Chapin designed a silicon solar cell which is capable of converting 6% of energy from direct sunlight. They placed an array of several strips of silicon (which they have made with a size of a razor blade) in sunlight, captured the free electrons and turned them into electrical current. On the following year, Bell Laboratories, New York announced the prototype manufacture of a new solar battery. The first public service trial of the Bell Solar Battery began with a telephone carrier system (Americus, Georgia) on October 4, 1955.

solar system

The continuous innovation in solar technology continues to improve in efficiency and cost, making it more invasive and alluring to the society. What could make us fall out of love with a renewable source of energy? It’s good not just for humans but also for other creations present on Earth. How it was discovered and made was truly a grace from above. Deciding “when and how” to go solar would be “now and easy” for everyone.


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