Solar PV – What Does The PV Mean?

Solar PV - What Does The PV Mean?PV is an abbreviation for photovoltaic. It refers to a solar technology that converts sunlight energy into electric power. Solar PV is the solar panels you’ve grown accustomed to on residential and commercial building rooftops.

The word photovoltaic, or PV in short, first appeared in 1890. It comes from two Greek words, ‘phos,’ which means light, and ‘volt,’ meaning electricity. That would directly translate to light electricity and still retain modern meaning. Here, we’ll briefly discuss how solar photovoltaics work and more.

How Does Photovoltaics (PV) Work?

The usual solar panel, you know, contains what we call photovoltaic cells or solar cells that generate electricity. These cells come from semiconductor materials like silicon that create a photoelectric effect.

When photons of sunlight with enough energy hit the surface of the photovoltaic cells, they knock off electrons within the material to a higher energy state. These freed electrons act just like they are in conducting material. They flow, creating a direct current (DC) that gets collected and stored in a battery.

But how exactly does this happen? Inside a photovoltaic cell are two silicon layers: p-type silicon and n-type silicon. The N-type silicon layer contains extra electrons, while the P-type lacks electrons but has positively charged holes instead. When sunlight hits the PV cell, it dislodges the electrons, causing them to flow between the two layers, which creates an electric field.

The greater the intensity of sunlight hitting the cells, the more electricity you get. However, most of your home appliances do not use DC. Along the series of connections, a converter turns DC into the alternating current (AC). The AC is the electricity that powers your household from lighting to cooling.

Types of Photovoltaics

Photovoltaic technology comes in three main types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film.

  • Monocrystalline PV cells. These are the deep black panels with rounded edges you often see, made from a single silicon crystal. They have a higher efficiency rate and are pricey.
  • Polycrystalline PV cells. These PV panels have a blue color and come from multiple silicon crystals. The cells are less efficient but more affordable.
  • Thin-film PV cells. They come as thin, flexible, and lightweight sheets and are the least efficient. They are made by depositing one or multiple layers of photovoltaic material onto a substrate. (1)

Quality Solar PVs From Wayne Solar

At Wayne Solar, we are a top solar PV installer in Florida with over 30 years of serving the local community. We provide high-quality panels and unmatched installation services to our customers who wish to switch. Our company services Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, and the surrounding communities. For more information about everything solar, contact us today via phone ((386) 673-9720) ​or email.

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