How Do Photovoltaic Cells Work?

Find out how Photovoltaic Cells Work.

A solar cell is shown with no background.

Photovoltaic cells convert light into electrical current using semiconductors. The process works by converting photons (light particles) into electrons that flow through wires.


What Are Photovoltaic Cells?

A photovoltaic cell converts solar radiation into direct current electricity. It consists of two layers of p-type silicon and n-type silicon separated by a thin layer of dielectric material.
The first step in creating a photovoltaic cell is to create a p-n junction. P-type silicon has a negative charge while n-type silicon has a positive charge. When light shines on the surface of the cell, electrons from the n-type side move toward the p-type side, leaving holes behind. As the electrons travel across the p-n junction, they release energy which creates an electric field. The electric field then pulls the electrons back towards the n-side, completing the circuit.

How Do They Work?

Solar cells convert light into electricity by using the photovoltaic effect. This process works when photons (light particles) hit the solar cell and knock electrons loose from atoms in the material. These free electrons then move through wires and produce electricity.

Why Should I Install a Solar Panel on my Florida home?

Living in the sunny Space Coast, installing a solar power system makes in 4 major ways.

  1. The incentives for solar in Brevard County and Indian River County of Florida are still really good, but that won’t last forever. States like California have already moved net energy metering, but you can get get “grandfathered in” by acting before that change.
  2. Tax credits are at 30% for the total solar pv system and battery backup.
  3. The ROI is excellent, especially while FPL continues to rise. It’s called Energy Independence.
  4. Solar panels are simply a better environmental choice. Panels last 25 years+ and will produce clean power for even longer.

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