Production of electric current from Solar Radiation. In Solar Cells, usually made of silicon, positive and negative charge carriers are freed when light strikes the cell (Photoelectric Effect). In this manner direct current (DC) is produced which can then be used to directly power a motor or can be stored in a Battery. If Solar Energy is to be used by consumers with 110 V alternating current (AC), or fed (“sold”) directly into the grid (Grid Coupling), then an Inverter is needed. Advantages of photovoltaics include its clean, “ecological” electricity production and the possibility to provide consumers with off-grid, or grid-independent, power (Off-Grid System), i.e. at a weekend home, in a garden or park, or to light small covered waiting areas. The relatively high costs are an important disadvantage when compared to a Solar Heating System--the price/output relationship must constantly be monitored (today it is about $ 4 / Wp.)

Further information

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