Also known as PV, photovoltaic is an array of cells consisting of photovoltaic material which transforms energy from sun into direct electricity current. Presently, the materials used for photovoltaic solar power generation include polycrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon, copper indium sulphide, cadmium telluride and microcrystalline silicon.
As a result of increasing demand for renewable sources of energy, there has been great advancement in the manufacturing of photovoltaic arrays and solar cells. Production of electric through the process of photovoltaic is being doubled in every 2 years for almost a decade now; the average increase is 48% every year. As a result, photovoltaic production is the fastest growing energy tech in the world today.
Approximately 90 percent of this massive energy generation through photovoltaic means enterprises of grid-tied electrical systems. This type of installation could have been built into the roof or ground-mounted. The one built into the roof is called Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV). Due to advancement in technology and increased production, photovoltaic solar power generation cost has been on a continuous reduction since the manufacturing of the initial solar cells were produced. Today, net metering as well as financial incentive has promoted the installation of solar PV installations in different countries of the world.
The best way to describe photovoltaic is that it is a technique used in generation of electrical energy by converting solar radiation to electricity through the use of solar cells. In order words, photovoltaics is energy directly from the sun. Photovoltaic effect is basically photons of light hitting electrons into a higher energy state in order to generate electric power. Almost every photovoltaic device is a type of photodiode.
Solar cells generate direct current electric power from the sun's radiation. The electricity then generated is used to power devices or recharge battery. The practical use of photovoltaic initially was to power spacecraft and orbiting satellites. But in recent time, the larger number of photovoltaic modules is applicable to grid-connected generation of power. An inverter is needed in this instance to convert the DC to AC. A smaller market exists for off-grid power, to power boats, provide electricity for remote dwellers, power electric cars, recreational vehicles etc.
This is the installation of photovoltaic solar panels in a building's roof, either as a main source of electric power or as an alternative. Building-integrated photovoltaic are among the fastest growing aspects of the photovoltaic industry. Basically, an array is integrated into a building's roof or wall, and individuals can now purchase roof tiles that have PV cells integrated into them. Also, an existing building can have arrays retrofitted into them; In this instance, the fitting is done on top of the roof structure. Another option is a separate location of an array from the building, which is connected to give electric power to the building through the use of cable.
For those buildings located at substantive distance from the conventional electric source, PV could be the best alternative for generating electricity. For off-grid cases, the electric power is stored using batteries.
Photovoltaic power has so many uses and has also helped in reducing environmental hazard which the conventional energy sources such as fossil burning have caused.