What Is A Photovoltaic Cell?

What is a photovoltaic cell? In a photovoltaic cell sun or light hits a certain mineral, it causes electrons to get agitated. The Photovoltaic effect was discovered in the 1800's. We are really dealing with...

The Photovoltaic effect was discovered in the 1800's. We are really dealing with old technology. People think of solar power as very modern and new. Yet somebody first discovered this effect in the late 1800s. When sun or light hits a certain mineral, it causes electrons to get agitated. Albert Einstein, at the turn of the century, won a noble prize for his work on Photovoltaics.


The first solar cell was not built until 1954. So it took all those years for science to catch up with the ideas.




Silicon is like glass. It is the most common mineral on earth. You have different minerals like Phosphorous and Boron that have properties that cause the Photovoltaic effect to happen. What they do is they coat Silicon like coating a piece of glass. Coating it with minerals on one side and then the other side, Phosphorous has extra electrons it wants to give away. The Boron side is the P side or the positive side. The Phosphorous side would be the N side that has extra electrons. That's the negative side. By putting wires on this piece of glass, you create a road for these electrons to travel. And then you can put a positive wire and a negative wire, and get electrons to flow out of those wires. In a nutshell, you create these agitated electrons, because of the natural properties that these minerals have. Because there is pent up energy flow in those minerals, as soon as you release it, those electrons start doing some work.

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