Photovoltaic panels or modules are made up of a series of photovoltaic cells that generate electricity from the sunlight it receives through what we call the photoelectric effect. But how is electricity produced in photovoltaic cells?
To better understand this topic, it is convenient that we know a little history about what the photoelectric effect is, which dates back to 1839 and is responsible for the Frenchman Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel, by placing silver chloride on a kind of acid solution Then he lit it up and attached platinum electrodes to it, and there it is, electric current. By 1883, it was the American Charles Fritts who created the first solar cell composed of a thin layer of gold, however, it had an efficiency of just 1%. It is here when these inventors began to experiment with different semiconductor materials that allowed them to reach the efficiency of current photovoltaic cells.
What is a photovoltaic cell?
It is an electronic device that transforms solar energy into perfectly consumable electrical energy. In other words, it has the task of absorbing photons from light to release usable electrons in electrical current. So when we see a group of solar panels, for example, on a roof, they are nothing more than a group of cells working together to produce electrical energy.
Having understood this, we answer the question: How is electricity produced in photovoltaic cells?
Well, basically, photovoltaic cells are manufactured with two types of semiconductor materials, one with a positive charge and the other with a negative charge that when exposed, in this case to sunlight, gives way for a photon to strike an electron, the which freely leaves a vacuum that will be filled by another electron and that in turn was torn from its own atom.
Come on, so that we understand it better, the job of a cell itself is to cause the free electrons to pass from one semiconductor material to another in search of any gap that it can fill, thus producing a potential difference and with it, the appreciated electric current, so there will be a flow of electricity from the highest potential point to the lowest potential until both points, the potential is the same.
Each and every one of the pieces of photovoltaic cells plays an important role for the correct operation, convertibility and generation of electrical energy from solar energy, undoubtedly one of the greatest advances of humanity in terms of the subject. of energy that every day the countries of the world demand more, and that has become the ideal option due to its multiple qualities and advantages over other types of systems.