Operating principle of Solar Panel and What is P-N Types Semiconductor?

A solar cell or a solar battery is a device that is used to convert the light energy into electrical energy. This light energy is mainly the radiations from the sun, which is converted to electrical energy can be then used in the various forms in our day to day activities. The photovoltaic cell work on the three following principles. The first one of these three is the absorption of light by the photovoltaic cell. This helps in the formation of the electron-hole pairs or the excitons. The next process inside the cell is the separation of the charge carriers from the opposite poles. The final process is the extraction of the carriers to the external circuit. All these three processes together make up the working of the photovoltaic cell, which would help in the conversion of the light energy to the electrical energy.

However, the use or the principle of this process can be better understood by studying the exact principle by which each of the above three processes takes place. Thus, here is a detailed description of the principle of the solar cell or the photovoltaic cell.

Operating Principles of Solar Cell:

The key components which help in the conversion of the solar energy to the electric energy are the solar modules. These solar modules are made of semiconductors. the semiconductors that are used in the modules are almost similar to the ones that are used in electronic equipment. The silicon semiconductors, that are most commonly used in the electronics devices are laminated to form an n-type and p-type layer. When light falls on the crystals, they generate electricity, through the induced photovoltaic effect. In this case, the electricity that is produced is direct in nature and they can either be directly used or stored in a battery. The P-N gate of the entire arrangement is one of the most important aspects of the system, as that is what gives the driving force. Thus, while one is making the P-N arrangement, one has to be very sure, about the following:

1. It must be noted that the n-type and the p-type Semiconductor layers are to be stacked over one another.
2. The silicon crystals must be very well laminated.
3. The produced electricity is of DC type and thus should not be used for any device that accepts only AC, as that would lead to complete damage of the device.

Having a complete knowledge of the Solar cells and also making sure of everything that is mentioned above, we hope that one would get the complete knowledge of the principle that is going on behind the photocells.

What is Solar Electricity, Solar Power advantage, disadvantage and principle


What is Solar Electricity

Solar Electricity is produced from Sunlight shining on Photovoltaic Solar Panel or sometimes referred to as PV Solar. In simple words “Electricity is generated in a Solar Panel”

Principle of Solar Electricity

First discovered in the early 19th century a solar panel generates electricity using the photovoltaic effect. In the research, it was observed that certain materials produced the electric current when exposed to sunlight or light. Two semiconducting material needs to be combined, whereas one layer has to have a depleted number of electrons. when it exposed to direct sunlight, some of the photons excites the electrons, causing a jump from one layer to other. Once an Electrons move from one layer to another, it generates the small amount of electrical current.

Image Source:  kids.britannica.com

Material which is primary using to build a solar cell is Silicon. Silicon cut and polished in a very thin layer often called them “Wafers”. These Wafers then cut and align together to make a solar cell. To take the current, conductive metal strips are attached. 

When a photon hit the silicon, Photon absorption causes some of the electrons to jump from one to another layer. Therefore an electrical circuit is made and this process creates an electrical current.

More photon absorbed by the silicon, the greater the current generated. 

Solar cells generate the electricity from direct sunlight. Few Solar cells can generate electricity on cloudy days and some better solar cells can generate even on moonlight nights.

Individual Solar cells generate a small amount of electrical energy. To make them useful, combine the solar cell together and make a solar module. Sometimes this is known as Solar Panel or Photovoltaic Module.

Advantage of Solar Power

  • Solar is a low carbon electricity generator as compared to generating other types of electricity  
  • Apart from the installation cost, the source of generating energy (Sunlight) is completely free.
  • Solar System maintenance cost is extremely low.
  • Solar electricity can be a great source of power in a remote location, where there is no source of power generation.
  • Solar power installation cost is high, but for the long term, it helps to save big money spent on generating electricity.

Disadvantage of Solar Power

  • Biggest and notable disadvantage of solar energy that the sun is not available 24 hrs when it is not shining or goes down then Solar Panels stop generating electricity.
  • An alternate source of energy required or energy storage is must to provide electricity for 24 hrs.
  • Energy Storage Batteries are very expensive and lead major expenses year after year.
  • Human needs more energy when the sun is not shining, i.e. night.

These are the Solar power advantage and disadvantage, but certainly can say “Solar Power” is far better than any other source of energy.