|Solar Home||The main cells used for collecting of solar energy is postvocalic cells. These cells turn solar energy directly into electricity using the photovoltaic effect. These cells are used in many different things including, calculators, roadside emergency telephones and even satellites and spacecraft. Another way that is used to make solar electricity is, to harness solar thermal energy. This is when you would have basically a solar power plant. This power plant would heat water into steam using solar heat. That steam would rise into a generator causing it to spin. Inside the generator are electro-magnets which when spun create electricity. This electricity is sent to power lines and can power many houses. Solar electric systems, also known as photovoltaic systems, convert sunlight into electricity.
Solar cells—the basic building blocks of a postvocalic system—consist of semiconductor materials. When sunlight is absorbed by these materials, the solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms. This phenomenon is called the "photoelectric effect." These free electrons then travel into a circuit built into the solar cell to form electrical current. Only sunlight of certain wavelengths will work efficiently to create electricity. Photovaltaic systems can still produce electricity on cloudy days, but not as much as on a sunny day.
The basic Photovaltaic or solar cell typically produces only a small amount of power. To produce more power, solar cells (about 40) can be interconnected to form panels or modules. photovaltaic modules range in output from 10 to 300 watts. If more power is needed, several modules can be installed on a building or at ground-level in a rack to form a photovaltaic array. About 10–20 photovaltaic arrays can provide enough power for a household.
photovaltaic arrays can be mounted at a fixed angle facing south, or they can be mounted on a tracking device that follows the sun, allowing them to capture the most sunlight over the course of a day.
Because of their modularity, photovoltaic systems can be designed to meet any electrical requirement, no matter how large or how small. You also can connect them to an electric distribution system (grid-connected), or they can stand alone (off-grid).
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