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Photovoltaic solar cells Directly convert sunlight into electricity are made of semi conducting materials Calculators Types Crystalline Silicon- most popular Thin film - Thin film photovoltaic cells use layers of semiconductor materials only a few micrometers thick attached to an inexpensive backing such as glass flexible plastic or stainless steel Cost less than the Crystalline Silicon Group III-V Technologies - based on Group III and V elements in the Periodic Table show very high conversion efficiencies under either normal sunlight or sunlight that is concentrated High-Efficiency Multijunction Device- Multijunction devices stack individual solar cells on top of each other to maximize the capture and conversion of solar energy Multijunction devices stack individual solar cells on top of each other to maximize the capture and conversion of solar energy Applications Grid-connected Photovoltaic Systems Grid-connected photovoltaic systems also called grid interface systems supply surplus power back through the grid to the utility and take from the utility grid when the home systems power supply is low These systems remove the need for battery storage although arranging for the grid interconnection can be difficult In some cases utilities allow net metering which allows the owner to sell excess power back to the utility Space Applications In space satellites and space suttles use them to generate power Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Systems Ones that are out in rural places and you need power May be dragging cables would cost more than getting solar cells Issues Cost Issues Photovoltaics are expensive to make because of the high cost of semiconducting materials Incentives Programs Tax credits Low interest loans Grants Special utility rates Technical assistance to encourage installation These vary from region to region httpwwwerendoegovREsolarphotovoltaicshtml
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