The solar cells that you see on calculators and satellites are also called photovoltaic pv cells which as the name implies photo meaning light and voltaic meaning electricity convert sunlight directly into electricity a module is a group of cells connected electrically and packaged . In a single junction pv cell only photons whose energy is equal to or greater than the band gap of the cell material can free an electron for an electric circuit in other words the photovoltaic response of single junction cells is limited to the portion of the suns spectrum whose energy is above the band gap of the absorbing material and . Solar panels actually comprise many smaller units called photovoltaic cells photovoltaic simply means they convert sunlight into electricity many cells linked together make up a solar panel. Solar photovoltaic cell basics august 16 2013 photons of light can transfer their energy to electrons allowing the electrons to flow through the material as electrical current this lattice provides an organized structure that makes conversion of light into electricity more efficient solar cells made out of silicon currently . Solar photovoltaic cells are connected together in panels modules which can be connected together in arrays of different sizes to produce small to large amounts of electricity such as for powering water pumps for livestock water for providing electricity for homes or for utility scale electricity generation
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