A photovoltaic cell is an electronic device that allows to transform the energy of light into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. It can also be called photocell or photoelectric cell.
Technically, what interests us about light is the photons. Photons are present in all kinds of light but the one that we find most interesting is that which comes from the Sun, solar radiation.
The photovoltaic cell, therefore, is an essential element for the development of photovoltaic solar energy.
Features of photovoltaic cells
Compounds of a material having a photoelectric effect (eg silicon) absorb photons from light and emit electrons by the so-called photoelectric effect. When these free electrons are captured, the result is an electric current that can be used as electricity.
The joint of several photoelectric cells form a photovoltaic panel. A photovoltaic solar panel consists of a network of solar cells connected in series circuit to increase the output voltage. At the same time, several parallel circuits are connected in parallel to increase the electric current that the device is capable of providing.
The type of electric current provided by a photovoltaic panel is direct current.
Efficiency of photoelectric cells
The average conversion efficiency obtained by commercially available cells produced from monocrystalline silicon is less than the efficiency of multilayer cells, usually Gali arsenide.
There are also new technologies in the production of solar panels that do not use silicon, for example with cadmium telluride, gallium arsenide and copper diseleniur semiconductors in India.