Temperature rise (NASA)

Corrosion engineering consultant

Corrosion Doctors site map

Alphabetical index of the Corrosion Doctors Web site

Photovoltaic Systems

The history of PV's dates back to 1839. Solar Electric or Photovoltaic Systems convert some of the energy in sunlight directly into electricity. Photovoltaic (PV) cells are made primarily of silicon, the second most abundant element in the earth's crust, and the same semiconductor material used for computers. When the silicon is combined with one or more other materials, it exhibits unique electrical properties in the presence of sunlight. Electrons are excited by the light and move through the silicon. This is known as the photovoltaic effect and results in direct current (DC) electricity. PV modules have no moving parts, are virtually maintenance-free, and have a working life of 20 - 30 years.

There are three basic categories of photovoltaic systems with several types in each category.