Smart Bulb

Photovoltaic is emerging as a major power source

by:Unigreat Smart Bulb     2020-07-25
'Photovoltaic' is a marriage of two words: 'photo', from Greek roots, meaning light, and 'voltaic', from 'volt', which is the unit used to measure electric potential at a given point. Photovoltaic systems use cells to convert solar radiation into electricity. The cell consists of one or two layers of a semi-conducting material. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers, causing electricity to flow. The greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity is. The most common semi conductor material used in photovoltaic cells is silicon, an element most commonly found in sand. There is no limitation to its availability as a raw material; silicon is the second most abundant material in the earth's mass. A photovoltaic system therefore does not need bright sunlight in order to operate. It can also generate electricity on cloudy days. Due to the reflection of sunlight, slightly cloudy days can even result in higher energy yields than days with a completely cloudless sky. 1 The fuel is free. The sun is the only resource needed to power solar panels. And the sun will keep shining until the world's end. Also, most photovoltaic cells are made from silicon, and silicon is an abundant and nontoxic element (the second most abundant material in the earth's mass). 2 It produces no noise, harmful emissions or polluting gases. The burning of natural resources for energy can create smoke, cause acid rain, pollute water and pollute the air. Carbon dioxide CO2 , a leading greenhouse gas, is also produced. Solar power uses only the power of the sun as its fuel. It creates no harmful byproduct and contributes actively to reduce the global warming. 3 PV systems are very safe and highly reliable. The estimated lifetime of a PV module is 30 years. Furthermore, the modules' performance is very high providing over 80% of the initial power after 25 years which makes photovoltaics a very reliable technology in the long term. In addition, very high quality standards are set at a European level which guarantees that consumers buy reliable products. 4 PV Modules can be recycled and therefore the materials used in the production process (silicon, glass, aluminium, etc.) can be reused. Recycling is not only beneficial for the environment but also for helping to reduce the energy needed to produce those materials and therefore the cost of fabrication. 5 It requires low maintenance. Solar modules are almost maintenance-free and offer an easy installation. 6 It brings electricity to remote rural areas. Solar systems give an added value to rural areas (especially in developing countries where electricity is not available). House lighting, hospital refrigeration systems and water pumping are some of the many applications for off-grid systems. Telecommunication systems in remote areas are also well-known users of PV systems. 7 It can be aesthetically integrated in buildings (BIPV). Systems can cover roofs and facades contributing to reduce the energy buildings consume. They don't produce noise and can be integrated in very aesthetic ways. European building legislations have been and are being reviewed to make renewable energies as a required energy source in public and residential buildings. This fact is accelerating the development of ecobuildings and positive energy buildings (E+ Buildings) which opens up many opportunities for a better integration of PV systems in the built environment. 8 The energy pay-back time of a module is constantly decreasing. This means that the time required for a PV module to produce as much energy as it needs to be manufactured is very short, it varies between 1,5 years to 3 years. A module therefore produces 6 to 18 times more energy than is needed to manufacture it. 9 It creates thousands of jobs. The PV sector, with an average annual growth of 40% during the past years is increasingly contributing to the creation of thousand of jobs in Europe and worldwide. 10 It contributes to improving the security of Europe's energy supply. In order to cover 100% of the electricity demand in Europe, only the 0.7% of the total land of Europe would be needed to be converted by PV modules. Therefore Photovoltaics can play an important role in improving the security of Europe's energy supply.
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