The utilization of photovoltaic (PV) devices to directly convert solar radiation into electricity is a rapidly advancing technology in the field of renewable energy. The term “photovoltaic” comes from the Greek φῶς (phōs) meaning “light”, and from “volt”, the unit of electromotive force, the volt, which in turn comes from the last name of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, inventor of the battery (electrochemical cell). The photovoltaic effect, which is the basis for PV technology, refers to the phenomenon in which certain semiconducting materials exhibit a change in electrical potential when exposed to light. A PV system is composed of multiple PV modules, each of which contain multiple PV cells. The electrical output of a PV system is affected by various factors, such as the intensity and spectral distribution of solar radiation, the temperature of the PV cells, and the shading and soiling of the modules.
LESSON: solar photovoltaic (PV) systems