Photovoltaic solar energy is a renewable form of energy for the production of electricity by conversion of a portion of solar radiation through a photovoltaic cell. Several cells are connected between them on a photovoltaic solar module. Several modules are grouped to form a solar installation at an individual or in a photovoltaic solar plant.
This perhaps isolated installation and work "in island' by charging batteries and responding to local needs, or power an electric distribution network.
Photovoltaic refers interchangeably to the physical phenomenon – the photovoltaic effect – or associated technology.
The principle of obtaining power by photovoltaic cells is called the photovoltaic effect. These cells produce direct current from solar radiation, that can be used to power any device or recharge a battery. Many pocket calculators use so-called photovoltaic.
When the necessary energy exceeds the amount provided by a single cell, the cells are grouped to form a photovoltaic module, sometimes designated way ambiguous as a solar panel. Such modules were initially used to power satellites in orbit, can electrical equipment in remote sites or on vessels or vehicles. A decrease in the cost of production then expanded the scope of photovoltaic energy for electricity on grids.
The different technologies of photovoltaic modules
There are three different photovoltaic solar module manufacturing technology :
- Monocrystalline solar modules : They have best performance m², and are used mainly when spaces are limited. The cost more expensive than another facility of the same power, thwarts the development of this technology.
- Polycrystalline solar modules : Currently it is the best quality/price ratio and the most used. They have a good performance and a good life (more than 35 years), and they may be made from electronic waste.
- Amorphous solar modules : These modules will have a good future because they may be flexible and have a better production by low light. Amorphous silicon has a performance halved compared to the crystalline lens, What requires more surface area for the same installed power. However, the price per m² installed is lower than for solar panels composed of cells.