Photovoltaics – basic principle © Siemens Stiftung 2020 CC BY-SA 4.0 international

Photovoltaics – basic principle


Photovoltaics is the conversion of light into electrical energy. From the physics aspect it is an example of the important role that the quantization of energy also plays in the conversion of energy.

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Light quanta impinging on a semiconductor generate conduction electrons at higher potential due to the internal photo effect. From there they can flow away via the external circuit and can be used. This effect is dependent on the energy of the photons and on the semiconductor material. An animation shows how the electric current flows in the photocell. Graphics explaining the internal photo effect in a semiconductor and the energy diagram of the solar cell can also be displayed.

Information and ideas:
Where are photocells used for producing electric power? What efficiency can be attained?
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Physics; Technology
Grade 10 to 13
Middle/high school; Vocational training
Electricity; Energy; Power generation; Power plant; Quantum theory; Renewable energy; Solar energy; Solar technology; Electric current ; Electric power generation; Energy conversion; Photovoltaics; Quantization; Renewable energy; Solar cell; Solar energy; Solar power plant; Whiteboard-compatible
Siemens Stiftung Media Portal
MediaHouse GmbH
© Siemens Stiftung 2020
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