Are you interested in solar energy? Did you know that renewable and sustainable energy production is a crucial priority for society? Solar energy is one such renewable source.
Want to do your part in reducing climate change? Then, become an electro-mechanical technician. In addition to learning about photovoltaic science, you will increase your knowledge about electrical and mechanical technologies. Plus, you hone your skills in installing, maintaining, and repairing heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. So, let’s look into solar energy.
How is Solar Energy Created?
The sun shines down onto a solar panel, and energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the Photovoltaic (PV) cell. The energy creates an electrical charge that moves because of an electrical field in the cell, causing electricity to flow.
What is the Theory Behind Solar Energy?
The leading theory behind solar energy is the Photovoltaic Effect. The photovoltaic effect generates a voltage in a photovoltaic cell exposed to the sun. The solar panel converts sunlight into electrical energy. Solar panels are commonly created using semiconducting materials like silicon because they can absorb a photon, exciting an electron extracted into an electrical circuit by an electric field.
What are Solar Panels?
Solar panels collect solar energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. The panels comprise material layers, including silicon, boron, and phosphorus. The boron layer offers a positive charge, the phosphorus layer provides a negative charge, and the silicon acts as the semiconductor.
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When choosing a solar panel type, it is essential to consider the temperature of a solar panel as its ability to generate energy, the fire rating that meets the International Building Code of 2012, the hail rating for UL 1703 and UL 61703 standards, hurricane rating, and light-induced degradation.
What is a Photovoltaic Cell?
More commonly called solar panels, PV cells generate power using devices that absorb the sun and convert it into electrical energy.
What are the Different Photovoltaic Technologies?
The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy supports research into photovoltaic technologies. Some of the more common PV cells include:
Crystalline Silicon – the most common solar cells used in commercial applications. Crystalline silicon solar cells are reliable and offer high efficiency. Plus, silicon is an abundant element. These solar panels can be broken into two groups: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single pure silicon crystal. However, polycrystalline solar panels are made from a mixture of different silicon fragments melted and poured into a square mold.
Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) – thin film solar cells manufactured quickly and inexpensively. Cadmium Telluride offers high absorption and a low cost to manufacture.
Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide (CIGS) – this thin film solar cell offers high absorption and can absorb a significant portion of the solar spectrum.
Perovskite is produced from lead, chlorine, bromine, and iodine organic compounds. These solar cells are cheap to produce and offer efficient energy creation for commercial applications. The one drawback is they have a limited lifespan.
Amorphous Silicon – a solar panel where the silicon is not structured on the molecular level and requires only a fraction of the silicon needed to produce silicon cells. This makes amorphous solar panels cheaper to produce but offers lower efficiency.
Want To Learn More?
This 9-month Electro-Mechanical Technologies Training program provides training based on a broad range of knowledge in electrical and mechanical technologies, along with heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration.
Courses focus on the fundamentals of electricity, residential and commercial wiring, and comfort systems. An added value to the electro-mechanical technician training is the solar energy technology module, which features an overview of the Photovoltaic (PV) Science with principles and application processes used in many solar-powered systems. To learn more, contact us.