Energy Self-Sufficiency in Building through Photovoltaic Cells

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Energy Self-Sufficiency in Building through Photovoltaic Cells ABSTRACT Solar energy is a way to acquire self-sufficiency of many residential buildings. The different forms of solar cells made from different materials and in different ways are able to increase the efficiency of the solar cells and allow solar energy to become more widespread. Due to the possibility of a shortage of fossil fuels in the near future, solar power can serve as an integral component in solving the energy crisis through developing energy self-sufficient buildings. However, after researching many already published materials, the possibility of allowing the world's buildings to become self-sufficient is not possible unless other solar cells become…show more content…
To cause a current to flow through the cells and create an electrical current, the semiconductor incorporates a p-n junction, which is when p-type silicon is placed next to n-type silicon. The electrons will then flow towards the positive side of the solar cells instead of in random directions (see figure 1). These semiconductors are usually made out of silicon, which, when in different forms can have efficiency from 16% to 32%. The efficiency of a photovoltaic cell is measured by the ratio of the amount of solar energy it converts to electrical energy to the total amount of solar energy that hits the cell (Department of Energy 2004). Figure 1: The Photovoltaic Effect, Converting Light Energy to Electrical Energy Source: Walker 2004 Photovoltaic Cells 4 The idea of photovoltaic cells is based on Albert Einstein’s photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect describes the effect of certain energies of light on different materials. Photons are able to dislodge electrons from the material when the energy of the photons exceeds the energy needed to dislodge an electron from the material plus the kinetic energy of electron. However, if the photon does not have enough energy, the electron is unable to escape and remains in the material. Bell Labs first put these cells to use in

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