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Photovoltaic Energy

Paolo Abagar, Mario Miguel Celdran, Arjan Delos Santos, Keno Hibaya, Kevin Richard Miraflores, Lovely Jane Vallinas EE 147 Energy Conversion EECE Department Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology Iligan City, Philippines


INTRODUCTION Pearson, Chapin, and Fuller reported their discovery of 4.5% efficient silicon solar cells. Then in 1964 the Nimbus spacecraft was launched with a 470-W PV array which was its first practical application. However, it was not until 1940 that the first modern solar cell manufacturing began. This used silicon as the semiconductor material, patented by the American inventor, Rusell Ohl. In 1955, the American utility, Western Electric, began to market solar cell arrays. The first practical applications for these devices were in artificial satellites. They were an efficient way of providing electricity to remote bodies. Vanguard 1 thus became the first satellite to use a photovoltaic module to feed the transmitter, which consumed a mere 5 milliwatts. By the mid-70's, photovoltaic modules began to be used in different terrestrial applications. These included clocks, games and calculators. Over recent decades, photovoltaic technology has continued to advance, leading to the development of photovoltaic systems connected to networks. This has triggered an industry whose main objective is to supply modules for large photovoltaic farms to generate electricity on a quite different scale. In this market, TSolar has become the byword for excellence.

The term "photovoltaic" has two parts: ‘φ ῶς (phōs)’ a Greek word meaning light, and ‘volt’, a word coined in honour of the inventor of the electric battery, Alessandro Volta ( 1745-1827). It is produced when sunlight is converted into energy with the use of solar cells or semiconductors. -Photovoltaics is the field of technology and research related to the practical application of photovoltaic cells in producing electricity from light, though it is often used specifically to refer to the generation of electricity from sunlight. Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic power generation employs solar panels composed of a number of solar cells containing a photovoltaic material. Materials presently used for photovoltaics include monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide/sulfide. Due to the increased demand for renewable energy sources, the manufacturing of solar cells and photovoltaic arrays has advanced considerably in recent years .



Photovoltaic energy has been discovered for almost two centuries. Photovoltaic effect was first discovered by a 19 year old French experimental physicist named Edmund Becquerel while he is experimenting with an electrolytic cell made up of two metal electrodes. Until in 1954, Bell Labs researchers

Photovoltaic (PV) cells are made up of at least 2 semi-conductor layers. One layer containing a positive charge, the other a negative charge.

Due to the natural abundance of silicon. clean. Sunlight consists of little particles of solar energy called photons. usually silicon. This creates an electron imbalance between the front and back of the cell and causes electricity to flow – the greater the intensity of light. the greater the flow of electricity. electrons are knocked loose and move toward the treated front surface of the solar cell. pass right through.The photovoltaic process converts sunlight. They burn no fuel and have absolutely no moving parts which makes them virtually maintenance free. into what's called a solar array. which is the most abundant energy source on the planet. to create the desired voltage and amperage output required by the given project. Solar cells are made of silicon. the electrons flow through the circuit creating electricity. When the 2 layers are connected to an external load. consisting of two or more thin layers of semi-conducting material. these freed electrons naturally migrate to the positive layer creating a voltage differential. many of the photons are reflected. The layers are given opposite charges – one positive. similar to a household battery. cells are combined in a weather-tight package called a solar module. a special type of melted sand. Illustrations: . So in the same way a photovoltaic cell. the semi-conductor material that PV cells are primarily made of. and silent. or absorbed by the solar cell. solar power cells are very environmentally friendly. These modules (from one to several thousand) are then wired up in serial and/or parallel with one another. As a PV cell is exposed to this sunlight. is a device that converts light into electricity . and the practically unlimited resource in the sun. directly into electricity. When sunlight strikes the solar cell. electrons are freed from the negative semiconductor material. When enough photons are absorbed by the negative layer of the photovoltaic cell. To increase power output. Each individual solar energy cell produces only 1-2 watts. which generate electricity when they strike a photovoltaic cell. The sun emits photons (light). one negative. Due to the manufacturing process of the positive layer. made from a semi-conducting material.

the electrons present in the valence band absorb energy and. A potential disadvantage is the use of highly toxic metals such as Cadmium with the need for carefully controlled manufacturing and end of life disposal. Other Thin Films A number of other materials such as cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium diselenide (CIS) are now being used for PV modules. The attraction of these technologies is that they can be manufactured by relatively inexpensive industrial processes. Photovoltaic effect is directly related to the photoelectric effect. This generates an electromotive force. resulting in slightly higher costs than other technologies. Thick-film Silicon This is a variant on multicrystalline technology where the silicon is deposited in a continuous process onto a base material giving a fine grained. These highly excited. and . The manufacturing process required to produce monocrystalline silicon is complicated. sparkling appearance. but they tend to be slightly less efficient. TYPES OF PV CELLS Monocrystalline Silicon Cells These are made using cells sliced from a single cylindrical crystal of silicon. they are generally cheaper to produce than monocrystalline cells. Like all crystalline PV. being excited. although a typical CdTe module contains only 0. typically converting around 15% of the sun's energy into electricity. Polycrystalline Silicon Cells Photovoltaic effect was first observed by French physicist A. this is the most efficient photovoltaic technology. certainly in comparison to crystalline silicon technologies.thus some of the light energy is converted into electric energy . Illustration: Also sometimes known as multicrystalline cells. E. The ingots are then saw-cut into very thin wafers and assembled into complete cells. due to the simpler manufacturing process. with average efficiencies of around 12%. yet they typically offer higher module efficiencies than amorphous silicon.1% Cadmium which is reported to be a lower quantity of the metal than is found in a single AA-sized NiCad battery.When the sunlight or any other light is incident upon a material surface. Most offer a slightly lower efficiency: CIS is typically 10-13% efficient and CdTe around 8 or 9%. and some reach a junction where they are accelerated into a different material by a built-in potential. Bacquerel in 1839. it is normally encapsulated in a transparent insulating polymer with a tempered glass cover and then bound into a metal framed module. non-thermal electrons diffuse. IV. jump to the conduction band and become free. these are made from cells cut from an ingot of melted and recrystallised silicon.

Once installed. Takes up a lot of space Solar panels consume land. For instance. it benefits from an infinite source of energy. semi-conducting material used. Compared to other means of generating power (hydraulic. nuclear. Lack of consistency and reliability We know that this system relies on the steady absorption of sunlight. 2. 12. ADVANTAGES Available nearly everywhere Inexhaustible and abundant Clean energy Solar power is clean energy with little environmental impact. have no moving parts. DISADVANTAGES Expensive This is due to its installation. 9. Production manageable Noise Free end-wastes and emissions are 5. you can convert your outdoor lighting to solar. 1. 6. and infancy. there are no recurring costs. any regulatory fees. Solar energy systems are now designed for particular needs. Get paid 13. as power generation per unit square is low Panel deterioration Environmental pollutants . you eliminate all costs associated with running your outdoor lighting. But there are factors that limit the availability of sunlight:    Latitude – efficacy falls as the distance from the equator increases. 12. do not release offensive smells and do not require you to add any fuel. Less transmission/distribution losses protects against rising energy prices Excess heat can be used for co-generation There is room for improvement 8. Current devices which utilize solar energy are expensive. and does not release air pollutants or noise while it is being generated. 9. The solar cells are directly on the lights and can’t be seen by anyone. 1. it demands little in terms of installation condition or scale. 7. Above all. The distance between the point where the energy is generated and consumed is therefore short and keeps power loss minimal during supply. 8. Heat degrades the system faster and also degrades in time . 5. 3. Maintenance and operating expenses are low Solar Energy systems are virtually maintenance free and will last for decades. 11. 3. They operate silently. 10.  Lead 4. VI. thermal). 4.A few of the more notorious substances contained in panels and associated equipment include:  Cadmium. Clouds/Weather Night 2. It takes a considerable amount of solar panels depending on your location to produce the same amount of electricity 10. Solar panels require quite a large area for installation to achieve a good level of efficiency. 7. 6. With few moving parts in its system it has no mechanical corrosion and long life. Only areas of the world with lots of sunlight and very low heat are suitable for solar power generation When there is no solar energy to be collected you'll have to have adequate battery backup to get you through the nights and rainy days. Long-lasting 11. At the same time.V.

100 kWh or an average of 1. with installed costs close to 5.VII. A 2011 study using thermal imaging has shown that solar panels. 3. A selfcontained solar vehicle would have limited power and low utility.500 solar panels on 2 hectares of land SINAG is the Philippines’ first entry to the World Solar Challenge .3 Million US Dollars. the largest photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the world is the Agua Caliente Solar Project in USA (247 MW). In Transport PV has traditionally been used for electric power in space. uses 6.169. 2. but a solar-charged vehicle would allow use of solar power for transportation . 1. CEPALCO’S 1mwp Photovoltaic Power Plant From the start of its commercial operations on September 26. provide a passive cooling effect on buildings during the day and also keep accumulated heat in at night. 2004. In Buildings (Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)) and Rural Electrification Photovoltaic arrays are often associated with buildings or houses: usually mounted on top of the existing roof structure or on the existing walls. the PV plant has exported to CEPALCO a total of 4. Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are increasingly incorporated into new domestic and industrial buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power. It is being used increasingly to provide auxiliary power in boats and cars. APPLICATIONS Power Stations As of July 2012. Agua Caliente Solar Project Some use innovative tracking systems that follow the sun's daily path across the sky to generate more electricity than conventional fixedmounted systems and there are no fuel costs or emissions during operation of the power stations.700kWh annually CEPALCO’s 1MWp plant.389. provided there is an open gap in which air can circulate between them and the roof.

uk/solar-pv [7.] post/2012/12/advantages-and-disadvantages-of- .] [ [ [4.] [6.]] http://www.wikipedia.renewableenergyworld. Solar powered remote fixed devices have seen increasing use recently in locations where significant connection cost makes grid power prohibitively PV was used frequently to power calculators and novelty REFERENCES [1. Standalone devices solar-photovoltaic-quick-pros-and-cons-of-solarpv [ M=2 [ ic-solar-panels-advantages-and-disadvantages [] http://www.4.] http://www.] http://www.] http://www.aspx [2.htm [10.]] http://www. VIII.solarenergy.triplepundit.