Solar Photovoltaic Energy Systems Explained — Solar PV Panels, Cells, Modules, & Science Of The Photovoltaic Effect
Solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies are becoming ubiquitous in many parts of the so-called developed and developing worlds it seems. Even in places as seemingly different as Australia, India, Chile, the US, and China, various solar energy technologies have begun to be deployed on the mass level — whether residentially, commercially, or on the industrial-scale (utility-scale power plants).
Who in the urbanized portions of the modern world hasn’t seen a residential solar PV system on the roof of a house? Or an image of a solar PV system connected to a satellite in the far upper-atmosphere? Or an image of a huge industrial-scale solar PV power plant sitting in the desert?
A tipping point has seemingly been reached, wherein the technology has become a notable part of the public consciousness — rather than simply a concern of those in specialized fields of engineering or physical science.
With that in mind, I put together the article below to present a basic overview of current solar PV technologies, and of the science behind the photovoltaic effect itself. Enjoy.