The Impact Of Solar Technology On The Environment

968 WordsDec 2, 20144 Pages
Jennifer Potoczak Eco-Structures Fall 2014 Professor Land Photovoltaics I. What is photovoltaics? The basic principle behind photovoltaics is the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic cells, “generate electric power when illuminated by sunlight or artificial light. They are by far the most highly developed of the man-made photoconversion devices”. (pg.1) Although seemingly cutting edge, the physics and technology behind photovoltaics is nothing new. Their history reaches as far back as 1839, with the first photoconversion devices appearing in the 1950 's and the earliest installations of these devices taking place in the 1970 's. Today, with technological innovations consistently and exponentially improving everything from photovoltaic efficiency to their aesthetic qualities, photovoltaic devices are poised for significant market expansion. With the dawn of the energy crisis upon us, photovoltaic technology has become a crucial component of discussions centering around sustainability, clean energy, and renewable recourses. This is because there are a number of significant advantages associated with photovoltaic technology. First and foremost, this technology channels our Earth 's largest renewable energy source- the sun. In itself, the sun 's net solar power input to the Earth is more than 10,000 times humanity 's current rate of use of fossil and nuclear fuels. Thus, the energy source harnessed by PV technology is virtually inexhaustible,
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