The sun illuminates the semiconductor p-n junction and forms a new hole-electron pair. Under the action of the built-in electric field in the p-n junction, the hole flows from the N region to the P region, and the electron flows from the p region to the n region. When the circuit is switched on, the current is formed. This is the working principle of the photoelectric effect solar cell.
There are two ways of solar power generation, one is photothermal-electrical conversion, the other is photoelectric direct conversion.
(1) Photo-thermal-electrical conversion is to generate electricity by utilizing the thermal energy generated by solar radiation, which is usually converted into working substance steam by solar collectors, and then driven by steam turbines to generate electricity. The former is a process of light-heat conversion, the latter is a process of heat-electricity conversion, just like ordinary thermal power generation. The disadvantage of solar thermal power generation is low efficiency and high cost, and its investment is estimated to be at least 5-10 times more expensive than ordinary thermal power plants.
(2) The photoelectric direct conversion mode uses photovoltaic effect to convert solar radiation energy directly into electric energy. The basic device of photoelectric conversion is solar cell. A solar cell is a device that converts solar energy directly into electrical energy due to the photovoltaic effect. It is a semiconductor photodiode. When the sun shines on the photodiode, the photodiode changes the solar energy into electrical energy and generates electric current. When many batteries are connected in series or in parallel, they can become a solar array with relatively large output power. Solar cells are a promising new type of power supply with three advantages of permanence, cleanliness and flexibility. Solar cells have a long life, so long as the sun exists, solar cells can be invested for a long time to use; compared with thermal power and nuclear power generation, solar cells will not cause environmental pollution.
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