Questions tagged [solar-cells]

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Why can solar cells be made of indirect and direct semiconductors? (Comparison between some pn-junction devices)

Various textbooks mention, but not go into detail, how semiconductor devices are optimized for their particular function. E-k space is trascendental to understand this, given that it depends on the ...
nomadStack's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers

In the diode equation, why the exponential $\exp$ and the ideality factor $n$ are there? What do they represent & what is their significance?

In the Shockley diode equation, why the exponential $\exp$ and the ideality factor $n$ are there? What do they represent & what is their significance? I have to work on Solar Photovoltaics, and ...
Supreeth Kumar's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers

Where does the electricity, generated by a solar panel, go if you don't use the electricity?

I'm sorry if this question is too trivial for this Q&A forum. I am a layman when it comes to physics (though I did cover the high-school physics courses). I was wondering what happens to the ...
Max Muller's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer

Increasing the efficiency of solar cell systems

As far as I know, there are currently two main approaches to utilising solar radiation for maximum energy conversion to electricity. These are either direct conversion to electricity, using ...
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63 votes
11 answers

Why don't solar panels contribute to global warming?

I've been wondering this for a while but I have not yet encountered an explanation. This is from my understanding of physics, which is by no means expert, so sorry for my crude explanation: Energy ...
Joeri Hendrickx's user avatar
33 votes
3 answers

Is plant photosynthesis more efficient than solar panels?

Is photosynthesis more efficient than solar panels? If so, by how much?
Chris Laforet's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer

What kind of engine is a photovoltaic solar cell?

I have read several times here (on PSE) and there (in Google) that photovoltaic solar cells aren't heat engines. I.e. they are not working via a heat transfer between 2 reservoirs, and so they are not ...
untreated_paramediensis_karnik's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

What is the most efficient Organic Photovoltaic solar cell?

Preferably one that is researched in a paper, not necessarily in production. I have found various claims of OPVs with an efficiency of 10%, 8% and 7.3%, the only one I can substantiate is referenced ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers

Doubt about the working principle of a silicon solar cell

I'm studying crystalline solar cell and their working principle, but I still don't completely understand the process. First of all, I understand that we dope a pure crystalline silicon with boron and ...
Tommaso Bendinelli's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers

Solar panels that also work at night?

This was first proposed in a scientific study from 2019. Essentially, the idea is that the solar cell generates power from the heat it radiates at night. That study claimed a theoretical maximum ...
Pitto's user avatar
  • 181
4 votes
2 answers

How much solar energy hits a rooftop in Israel?

I was asked to today about the available plans (in Israel) to install photo-voltaic receptors on the roof and sell the energy. This is a legitimate plan and there are several companies that do this. ...
Yotam's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers

How far from the Sun is a photovoltaic effective?

Just what the title states. Photovoltaic cells convert incident light to electricity; this probably means they create less electricity when it is dark - as in deep space. How far can a solar cell ...
Everyone's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers

In solar cells, do photons break apart electron-hole pairs, or create them?

Some sources say that when a photon hits the PV cell, it breaks apart electron-hole pairs. Other sources say that photons create electron-hole pairs. Can anyone explain which one is right? I've read ...
Seven's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
8 answers

Why not use our own light production to produce new energy instead of wasting it?

Why don't we use our own light production at night (I mean home, buildings, streets,..., lighting) to charge photovoltaic panels instead of wasting it?
Eddy Khemiri's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers

By what maximum amount can we concentrate sunlight?

This refers to a previous question re: Solar Cell Systems and as part of the answer the statement: If we concentrated sunlight to [the] maximum amount 42600× was given. My questions are: By what ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

Why don’t illuminated series connected (photo-)diodes bias each other?

When you connect, let's say, three photodiodes or solar cells, with a load, and you measure the voltage across the middle photodiode. Will the voltage change if the adjacent cells are in the dark if ...
AskingBecauseIHaveQuestions's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

How does a photon drive out the electrons in a solar cell?

We know that solar cells work when a photon hits the n-type the photon's energy drives free the electrons in the n-type to generate a current. But we also know that when a photon hits the atoms it ...
Bhavesh's user avatar
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0 votes
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Do III-V based photovoltaics "glow" (photo-luminesce) when illuminated but not loaded?

In this nice answer I started to learn about how the silicon photovoltaics cells on the International Space Station are managed. In that case, the cells are generally either delivering useful power to ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
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This spinning solar cell advertises a 20x efficiency improvement. How?

Video: These Spinning Solar Cells Generate 20 Times More Power Than Traditional Panels. I am sceptical because commercial panels have an efficiency of 15-20% and research panels are even better: How ...
spraff's user avatar
  • 4,858
0 votes
2 answers

Is it feasible to convert the energy of gamma-photons from gamma-emitting nuclear isomers into electrical power?

It is known that gamma rays emitted by nuclear isomers, naturally occurring or manufactured, carry huge amounts of energy. Co-60 for example decays into the isomeric state of Ni-60 by $\beta ^-$ ...
JKL's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers

Sonomotors, Sion: Can this electric car really charge up to 30km only from its solar cells? [closed]

Maybe you have heard about Sonomotors and its futuristic electric car, the Sion. If not, here is the link to its website: Anyway, the manufacturer claims that this car can ...
james's user avatar
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1 answer

Losses occurring in solar cells [closed]

If a solar cell is subjected to a light of intensity $1000$ $\text{W/m^2}$, the output at the cell is much less than ideal case scenario. What are all the factors causing energy losses in a solar cell?...
user140592's user avatar