What is photovoltaic energy?
What Does photovoltaic energy Mean
The energy is the natural resource that, through the application of technology , can be exploited industrially. The term also refers to the ability to transform or set something in motion.
Photovoltaic , on the other hand, is an adjective that allows to name what belongs to or related to the generation of electromotive force from light .
It is known as photovoltaic energy , therefore, the type of electricity ( electrical energy) that is obtained directly from the sun's rays thanks to the quantum photo-detection of a device. Photovoltaic energy makes it possible to produce electricity for distribution networks, supply isolated homes and power all kinds of appliances.
These devices are called photovoltaic cells when they have a semiconductor metal foil, or thin-film cells if they have metals located on a substrate. Photovoltaic cells can be divided into monocrystalline (with a single silicon crystal), polycrystalline (made up of multiple crystallized particles), or amorphous (if the silicon has not crystallized).
The union of several of these cells is known as a photovoltaic module . These modules provide direct electrical current that can be transformed into alternating current through a device called an inverter. Thus, the electrical current produced by the photovoltaic modules can be injected into the electrical network.
The main manufacturer of photovoltaic panels in the world is Japan , followed by Germany . It is important to highlight that the growth of photovoltaic installations is limited by the lack of raw material (quality silicon) in the market , although the situation tends to reverse.
One of the most significant advances in this field is due to the creation of a solar cell formed by a layer of perovskite , a hybrid material (organic and inorganic) very cheap to produce and easy to synthesize, which is placed between two other layers. of ultra-fine semiconductors. In total, the thickness of this cell developed by a team of researchers led by Hendrik Bolink does not exceed half a micron (which is equivalent to dividing a meter in a million).
The news of the use of perovskite to solve some of the problems related to the construction of solar panels was published at the end of 2013, and the institutions behind all the research and development work are the Institute of Molecular Science ( ICMol) of the Science Park of the University of Valencia and the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) of Switzerland.
Bolink, who since 2003 has been in charge of a research team on molecular optoelectronic devices and has authored more than one hundred articles in journals of scientific interest, said were used for the preparation of the perovskite processes of low temperature, similar to those used in the printing press, thanks to which it was possible to manufacture photovoltaic devices on glass sheets or plastic sheets, in order to make them flexible.
In addition to its low cost and its simple manufacture, another of the advantages of perovskite is that it allows the creation of semi-transparent devices; This, added to its discreet thickness and its lightness, opens the possibility of placing sheets on the windows of the buildings, to filter the solar rays at the same time that they generate electricity. This particular application has already been evaluated by various construction companies, and they have shown a lot of interest.
It is worth mentioning that for the manufacture of photovoltaic cells, a material known as crystalline silicon is usually used , which has a very high cost, or cadmium and cadmium sulfide, their economic alternatives but with raw materials that are difficult to obtain and highly polluting. Perovskite is inexpensive and environmentally friendly, promising a future in which harnessing solar energy to generate electricity is available to everyone.