Solar Basics

Solar Cell

    Explanation:
    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

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

Solar module

    Definition:
    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

    Explanation:
    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.