How Photovoltaics Work Summary

Improved Essays
Summary background conclusions

Summary Of “How Do Photovoltaics Work” Photovoltaics is a term referring to the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level as explained in How do Photovoltaics Work. The way that photovoltaics work is through the property known as the ‘photoelectric effect’ that causes some materials to absorb photons of light and release electrons that are captured, forming an electric current. “The photoelectric effect was first noted by a French physicist, Edmund Bequerel, in 1839” he found that specific materials would produce electric currents when in exposure to light, such as the light radiated from the sun, Sol (Knier 1). “In 1905, Albert Einstein described the nature of light and the photoelectric
…show more content…
Our sun, called Sol, is a star constantly extruding 4 x 10 to the power of 23, which is 4 with twenty three zeroes following it, which has that energy being converted to a usable source of electricity with the use of photovoltaic cells/modules, also called solar cells/modules. One spaceship, called the ISS, uses decades old solar cells which convert 14% of the sun’s energy into electricity which shows its (the Sun’s light) strength, but the main question spaceship builders want to know is “Where is the edge of sunlight?”, aka where does the solar energy fall off so much that it is no longer useful to harness. Another path of research that researchers are exploring is the use of lasers to transmit energy over long distances, more efficient solar cells, and solar arrays on other celestial bodies such as the Moon or Mars.“To date, the farthest any solar-powered spacecraft has ventured from the Sun is 2.35 AU -- a record set last October by NASA's Stardust probe,”the use of that quote is to express that scientists haven’t been able to test how far solar panels really work, they do have predictions …show more content…
The discovery of PV, photovoltaics, happened in 1839, a researcher found that certain materials could produce energy if exposed to light. This discovery later led to photovoltaic cells being produced as a type of energy production. The cells were not viable until space researchers/engineers realized that PV cells would be a good way to produce electricity in space. That led to more research and therefor less cost because it was being made better with every discovery. The first space station to use solar arrays, lots of modules wired together, was the I.S.S. Space station, which had arrays with 14% efficiency. The highest current known efficiency is up to 35% on certain arrays under concentrated sunlight. Research is currently being done on Gallium Arsenide and concentration of sunlight/other light because the current highest efficiency cell was made with these two factors. Researchers are also looking for where solar energy no longer would work as a viable power source for a space shuttle or

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    In 1954, the photovoltaic cell was founded, scientist found that silicon produced an electric charge while it was in direct sunlight (Mongillo 42). PVs are normally found in calculators and watches to give them power. PVs are usually flat,efficient, and usually found on top of houses to give them power and water. Today, the cost for Solar PVs are very expensive, however, in the future if it becomes affordable, many countries will probably use solar PV’s for…

    • 1274 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Solar power is one of the three main energy sources associated with alternative energy amongst hydro and wind. In today’s world, the need for this alternative energy is at an all-time high as fossil fuels and other conventional sources of energy are beginning to damage this planet’s ecosystem at an alarming rate. Solar energy, although not completely pollution-free, is an inexhaustible fuel source. Every hour energy from the sun is sent into Earth’s atmosphere and within this hour, there is enough energy provided and harnessed to fuel the entire planet for one year. 1Today, this solar power is utilized in a manner that only allows it to produce less than 1/10th of 1% of Earth’s total demand for fuel and/or energy.…

    • 1358 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    But how bad is that? Actually, pretty good considering it would take 10% efficiency solar panels covering less that one-fifth of one percent of the Earth’s surface to supply the power used around the planet in 2001 (23). Solar panels are best used in areas that see high amounts of solar radiation. This paints equatorial areas as prime real estate for capturing and converting the sun’s gracious gift of photons into electricity. While solar energy has become more economically viable and more commonly used, it is still pricey, and it is all in the materials and research.…

    • 926 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When one thinks of Space Solar power they think of something that is futuristic. In 1941, Issac Asmiov who wrote science fiction published a short story called “Reason.” In the short story, it talked about a space station that collected energy from the sun to send to other planets by the usage of microwave beams. In the story there is a line that says, “"Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from one of those huge incandescent globes that happens to be near us. We call that globe the Sun ... "This was the first glimpse of space solar power. Dr. Peter Glaser created the concept of Space solar power 40 years ago when there was a time of panic, when many people were worrying about an energy crisis occurring.…

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Solar Energy Energy is considered as the most important issue of the 21st century. About 85% of today’s modern world use of energy comes from fossil fuels (Blah Blah). These particular resources, fossil fuels, are finite in quantity, and has been a major cause of air pollution and global warming. Scientists are finding alternative sources of energy to solve the century’s puzzle, a resource which is renewable, natural and efficient such as solar energy. Over 2700 years ago, people have been harvesting solar energy to make fire by magnifying sun rays via glass lenses (http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/various-solar-energy-facts.php).…

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Researchers have been discovering new moons as well as making new technology, but the sense of adventure and inspiration we had then is gone (Kavanagh). Mars is not the only plans for the space program, but it is the closest step we can accomplish shortly (Chen). Sometimes we forget how much the technology has progressed since the last space race. They made it to the moon within a decade with the technology of that age, so there should be nothing stopping us from reaching the Red Planet within a decade (Zubrin). We need to have the same depth of thrill we got when we first landed on the moon (Zubrin).…

    • 2031 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Solar Winds and the Martian Atmosphere The suns steadily releases charged particles from its upper atmosphere through the Solar System by solar winds. These winds have different effects depending on the properties of the planet. Earth, for example, has a very strong magnetic field as a result of a multitude of factors. Mars on the other hand does not have a strong magnetic field protecting it from the solar winds. It is believed that Ancient Mars had rivers and lakes, however it died billions of years ago after the bombardment of solar winds eventually depleted the atmosphere to create the version of mars that we know of today.…

    • 756 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Non Renewable Energy

    • 1885 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The world population increases every day, and so does the need for energy. The only problem is that much of the energy society uses is non-renewable, meaning once a source is diminished it can no longer be used again. The solution is to use the most abundant energy source that burns bright in the sky every day, the sun. The energy given off by the sun can be harnessed to create electricity, and that electricity can be stored for later use. According to the website Altenergy, “The average star, like the sun, is similar to a fusion reactor that has been giving off energy for over four billion years…that provides enough energy after just one minute to supplement the world’s energy for one year.” (Alt) With the large amount of energy given off…

    • 1885 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In a recent survey, 62% of people stated that they are willing to use green power over power generated by fossil fuels. Many people are set on wind or solar, but there are many other options out there that make more sense in terms of reliability and efficiency. Nuclear fission was once thought to be the new energy powerhouse, but has dissolved after many catastrophes and radioactive waste. Scientists are now turning to fusion to answer the call for a clean and renewable energy source. Most people are familiar with the sun and the raw power that it possesses.…

    • 1720 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Sasha Gonzalez Ms.Kehler Chemistry Block 3 15 May 2015 Solar Power As of the end of the past century, and now the beginning of the current century, the primary energy sources being used have been harmful to our environment, and are nonrenewable. These energy sources are not going to be on earth forever, so it would be beneficial to mankind to find a new primary source of energy to replace the old ones. Solar power is one of the most abundant energy sources we have on Earth, and each year it is becoming more and more popular. With the technological advances in the modern world, solar power energy has the potential to become a primary source of energy for the population living in the Twenty-first century because it can be used in any platform,…

    • 1153 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays