Solar Power Ii

1270 words - 6 pages

Intro Sample...

Solar cells today are mostly made of silicon, one of the most common elements on Earth. The crystalline silicon solar cell was one of the first types to be developed and it is still the most common type in use today. They do not pollute the atmosphere and they leave behind no harmful waste products. Photovoltaic cells work effectively even in cloudy weather and unlike solar heaters, are more efficient at low temperatures. They do their job silently and there are no moving parts to wear out. It is no wonder that one marvels on how such a device would function. To understand how a solar cell works, it is necessary to go back to some basic atomic concepts. In the simplest model of the atom, electrons orbit a central nucleus,... View More »

Body Sample...

Silicon so doped is called "n-type" [Book 5]. On the other hand, boron, with a valence of 3, is an acceptor, leaving so-called "holes" in the lattice, which act like positive charges and render the silicon "p-type"[Book 5]. The drawings in Figure 1.2 are 2-dimensional representations of n- and p-type silicon crystals, in which the atomic nucleii in the lattice are indicated by circles and the bonding valence electrons are shown as lines between the atoms. Holes, like electrons, will remove under the influence of an applied voltage but, as the mechanism of their movement is valence electron substitution from atom to atom, they are less mobile than the free conduction electrons [Book 2]. In a n-on-p crystalline silicon solar cell, a shadow junction is formed by diffusing phosphorus into a boron-based base. At the junction, conduction electrons from donor atoms in the n-region diffuse into the p-region and combine with holes in acceptor atoms, producing a layer of negatively-charged impurity atoms. The opposite action also takes place, holes from acceptor atoms in the p-region crossing into the n-region, combining with electrons and producing positively-charged impurity atoms [Book 4]. The net result of these movements is the disappearance of conduction electrons and holes from the vicinity of the junction and the establishment there of a reverse electric field, which is positive on the n-side and negative on the p-side. This reverse field plays a vital part in the functioning of the device. The area in which it is set up is called the "depletion area" or "barrier ...

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