How Solar Works


  • Semiconductor

    A material that has an electrical conductivity in between that of a metal and an insulator. Typical semiconductors for PV cells include silicon, gallium arsenide, copper indium diselenide, and cadmium elluride.

  • Silicon (Si)

    A chemical element that is the most common semiconductor material used in making PV cells.

  • Single-crystal silicon

    Silicon material with a single crystal structure. A common material for the construction of solar PV cells.

  • Solar cell

    see photovoltaic cell

  • Solar energy

    Energy from the sun.

  • Solar module

    see photovoltaic module

  • Solar power

    Electricity generated from sunlight.

  • Stand alone

    A solar system that operates without connection to a grid or another supply of electricity. A battery bank stores unused daylight production for nighttime power. Commonly used in remote regions such as mountains, ocean platforms or communication towers.

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