Solar Energy

Solar Energy

The Photoelectric Effect

All light contains photons that carry energy proportional to the wavelength of light. When a wavelength of light hits a surface, some of that light energy is absorbed. If there is enough energy hitting the surface, the electrons in the material can escape; this results in electricity.

Every material is photoelectric— if there is enough energy, you can excite an electron in the material. However, certain materials are easier to work with, the most common being silicon.

Solar Energy

Solar Cell

Materials that use this phenomenon to create and harness electricity are called photovoltaics. All solar cells are fundamentally similar. Solar cells consist of an active material with semi-conductive properties that create electrons and other layers that help move the electrons out of the material into a circuit where the electricity can be used.

Typically, solar cells are made of solar grade silicon. Additional coatings can be applied to the surface glass to help reduce the amount of light reflected, increase the amount of light absorbed, or help protect the cell from degradation, including humidity, oxygen, and mechanical stresses.

Solar Energy

Solar Module

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Tempered Glass

Solar Cells

Back Sheet

Encapsulant - EVA

Encapsulant - EVA

Aluminum Honeycomb

Solar Energy

Types of Solar