Photovoltaic Cell Essay

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Photovoltaic Cells Using Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes as a Sustainable Alternative Energy Source

As a result of all the developments made since the Industrial Revolution, humans have managed to improve the quality of life, expand human knowledge and witness a rapidly increasing population. However, along with these advancements come crucial concerns about pollution, the global climate, and energy security, all of which exacerbate each other. As the human population increases and global climate deteriorates, there comes a rising demand for clean energy and sustainable alternative practices. Many attempts have been made to manage climate change, including the induction of a series of climate mitigating accords by the United Nations. One
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Photovoltaic cells produce direct current flow of electricity that is proportional to the amount of solar radiation hitting the cell. This is possible through the photoelectric effect, where light penetrates a surface and emits electrons. A standard silicon based photovoltaic cell will have a thin, negatively charged phosphorus-doped silicon wafer on top of a positively charged thicker boron-doped silicon layer. Excess electrons from the phosphorus-doped silicon layer move to the electron deprived boron-doped silicon layer, resulting in the phosphorus-doped layer becoming positive and the boron-doped layer becoming negative. This switch creates an electrical field over the cell that acts as a medium for current (Morris). The electrical imbalance directs photoelectrons, electrons produced from the photoelectric effect, and creates a flow of current of excited electrons from the atoms of silicon that can then be harvested as an electrical current("How PV Cells Work."). Multiple of these photovoltaic cells are connected to each other to form a photovoltaic module, and multiple modules make up an array like the solar panels commonly seen on …show more content…
For instance, natural resource reserves do not need to be depleted in order to harvest solar radiation. The sun, being a perpetual resource, is indefinitely available, and is available everywhere. Solar radiation would otherwise be absorbed by the Earth’s surface or reflected back into the atmosphere, so photovoltaics does not in fact take away from Earth’s total insolation. Furthermore, photovoltaics can be employed with minimal disruption to habitats. Energy sources such as hydropower and coal require large scale damming and mining operations respectively, which fragments ecosystems and destroys environments. Solar panels can be placed on top of structures, and in open areas. There has been serious discussion on placing large solar farms in the Sahara, southwest U.S., and Australian deserts, all of the following locations having great solar capacity. Wildlife in these areas is dispersed and low density, making them prime locations for solar

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