Solid state device that converts artificial or natural light directly into electric current. Also called photovoltaic cell.
- It is based on the photovoltaic effect.
- One of the semiconductors regions is made so thin the light incident on it reaches the P-N junction and gets absorbed.
- It converts solar energy into electrical energy.
- Silicon is what is known as a semi-conductor, meaning that it shares some of the properties of metals and some of those of an electrical insulator, making it a key ingredient in solar cells.
- Solar cells, sometimes called photovoltaic cells, convert energy from the sun directly into electricity.
- Solar cells are very useful in powering space vehicles such as satellites and telescopes (e.g. Hubble). They provide a very economical and reliable way of powering objects which would otherwise need expensive and cumbersome fuel sources.