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> Learning Center > Photovoltaic solar cell

Photovoltaic solar cell

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Photovoltaic solar cell

Photovoltaic solar cellThe photovoltaic solar cell is the basic building block of a solar collection panel. They are most commonly made from crystalline silicon, which acts as a semiconductor. These cells are linked together to produce a photovoltaic module, or solar panel.

The first photovoltaic solar cell was produced during the late 19th century, and wasn’t very efficient. Silicon based cells were discovered in the mid-20th century, and these cells were the beginnings of modern solar energy industry. This technology has been continually improved upon over the last few decades and the pace has accelerated just in the past few years.

It is hoped that developing technology will improve the efficiency of a photovoltaic solar cell to as much as 60 percent. If this can be done, while maintaining low manufacturing costs, the financial and environmental benefits would be astounding. Whole cities could one day be completely powered by solar energy.

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