Solar Energy: Conversion into Electricity

How Solar Energy is Generally Used:

What about the Direct Conversion into Electricity?

Water Into Steam:

Photons into Electrons: PhotoVoltaic Devices

To make use of the photoelectric effect, we need material that is a goo conductor of electricity and which can be manufactured in bulk at reasonable cost. This conditions strongly constrain the available choices. For most practical aspects, Silicon is the material of choice.


Schematic structure of energy bands in Silicon:

Hence, if a silicon atom receives at least 1.11 Electron Volts from some source, a valence electron will move to the conduction band. Once an electron is in the conduction band, the material can carry a current and the material is now a conductor.

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