Solar Basics

Solar Cell

    In solar cells, which in most cases are made of silicon, the influx of light or heat causes positive and negative charge carriers to be emitted (photoelectric effect), thereby producing a direct current. Different material compositions yield different efficiencies:
    Monocrystalline silicon: 14 to 17%
    Polycrystalline silicon: 13 to 15%
    Amorphous silicon: 5 to 7%

Solar energy

    The energy from sunlight or other solar radiation such as heat or UV radiation.

Solar module

    A photovoltaic or Solar module consists of several interconnected solar cells that are embedded between two glass or plastic plates and are therefore protected from the effects of the weather. As a rule, the modules are installed in a frame on a rooftop or a support mount.

Solar radiation

    Solar radiation consists of direct and indirect radiation. An example of indirect radiation would be the reflected radiation from the surrounding area, such as that from snow-covered areas or a cloudless sky. The angle between the sun’s rays and the surface is critical for a precise calculation of the energy reaching a surface. This angle varies depending on the time of day and year. In the summer, the irradiation intensity can reach as much as 1,000 watts per square meter.