Solar PV and Photovoltaic
Photovoltaic Technology on the Rise:
PV cells or Photovoltaic cells are the devices used to
convert the solar energy in the sun's rays (and also all other light sources)
into usable electricity for everyday consumption. The word Photovoltaics also
refers to the study of solar energy technologies. Photovoltaic systems can be
set up virtually anywhere - whether you're connected to the grid, or off-grid.
You may also have a very large photovoltaic installation - say in a field or
other open area if you intend to generate quite a lot of electricity, but you
can also have a simple solar installation on the roof of your
home to provide only enough power for your family.
The Low Down
In the make-up of these panels solar cells are
packaged into photovoltaic modules - which is why you
may often hear the words solar panels, photovoltaic
modules and solar/pv arrays used interchangeably. These
photovoltaic cells make direct
electrical current by absorbing light - this electricity
can then be put to use in a multitude of ways. It's
simple, easy enough to use and set up and is a far
cleaner method of fueling our lives than all other
conventional methods. There are also several government
incentive programs and also net-metering programs that
apply to photovoltaic users, and the use of solar power
is increasing every year.
"Between 2005 and
2006 photovoltaic system capacity increased by 36%."
This increase is indicative of a growing movement
renewable energies. While solar power provides
very little of the energy currently consumed (most
estimates are under about 1% of world energy use) the
energy source is gaining popularity.