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Basic Solar

Although solar electricity producing devices have been around for over 50 years, solar electricity devices, often referred to as photovoltaics or PV, are still considered cutting edge technology. The promise of clean, cheap, and abundant electricity from the sun has been the dream of many scientists and businesses. As a result each year a number of discoveries and advances for this technology have been made.

This primer has been designed to cover some of the basic concepts, components, and uses of PV. Explore each of the sections below to begin your enlightening journey.
Current PV Technology
Photovoltaics (PV) or solar cells as they are often called, are semiconductor devices that convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity.
History of PV
The first conventional photovoltaic cells were produced in the late 1950s, and throughout the 1960s were principally used to provide electrical power for earth-orbiting satellites.
How PV Cells Work
A typical silicon PV cell is composed of a thin wafer consisting of an ultra-thin layer of phosphorus-doped (N-type) silicon on top of a thicker layer of boron-doped (P-type) silicon.
Cells, Modules, & Array
Photovoltaic cells are connected electrically in series and/or parallel circuits to produce higher voltages, currents and power levels.
How a PV System Works
Simply put, PV systems are like any other electrical power generating systems, just the equipment used is different than that used for conventional electromechanical generating systems.
Types of PV Systems
Photovoltaic power systems are generally classified according to their functional and operational requirements, their component configurations, and how the equipment is connected to other power sources and electrical loads.
Glossary
Glossary

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