Solar Photovoltaic

Converting the sun’s radiation directly into electricity is done by solar cells. These cells are made of semiconducting materials similar to those used in computer chips. When sunlight is absorbed by these materials, the solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms, allowing the electrons to flow through the material to produce electricity. This process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage) is called the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaics (PV) is thus the field of technology and research related to the application of solar cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity.
Solar cells, which were originally developed for space applications in the 1950s, are used in consumer products (such as calculators or watches), mounted on roofs of houses or assembled into large power stations. Today, the majority of photovoltaic modules are used for grid-connected power generation, but a smaller market for off-grid power is growing for remote areas and developing countries.
Given the enormous potential of solar energy, photovoltaics may well become a major source of clean electricity in the future.

Solar energy is not a finite resource as fossil fuels are. While the sun is up there it constantly produces all the energy we can use.
Reduced maintenance costs
While not maintenance-free -- what technology really is? -- once solar panels, wind- or water power facilities are in place, no fuel or lubricants need to be supplied.
Falling production costs
The financial costs of producing appliances such as solar cells and solar hot water panels are falling as technology develops. Comparatively solar energy is competing with fossil fuels as fossil fuel prices have risen steeply globally in the last few years. Solar energy technology is becoming increasingly efficient.
Low running costs
With prices of traditional fuels soaring the cost advantages of solar energy are becoming obvious. After installation of the appliance, solar energy is free.
Local application
Suitable for remote areas that are not connected to energy grids. In some countries solar panels for domestic use in remote areas are becoming sources for local employment in manufacture and installation.
Fossil-fuel poor countries can kick their dependency on this energy and spend their funds on other things through application of solar energy.
Health and safety benefits
In some poorer countries where people have used kerosene and candles for domestic heating and lighting, respiratory diseases and impaired eyesight have resulted. Many people have been burned through accidents involving kerosene heating. Solar energy, especially with excess energy stored for night-time use, overcomes these problems.
Among the significant advantages of solar energy is that of reliability. Local application and independence from a centrally controlled power grid and energy transport infrastructure is insurance from upheaval through political and economic turmoil.

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