The evolution of photovoltaic cells for energy
While solar panels have gained popularity, the original PV panels, with the photovoltaic cells covered by glass, were highly inefficient. The older photovoltaic solar cell panels were also expensive to make and even more expensive to install since the panels were heavy in weight and couldn't fit into spaces that were not specifically designed for them. Because of these issues, the use of PV panels with photovoltaic solar cells was limited and the favored solar panels on the market were the conventional crystalline silicon-based panels.
Left and middle: monocrystalline photovoltaic cells, right: polycrystalline photovoltaic cells | © Solarnova
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Weight and production costs were the first issues addressed in making panels with photovoltaic solar cells more usable. This was accomplished when thin film solar panels with photovoltaic cells were introduced, in part, because they are much more user-friendly than older models. Photovoltaic solar cell panels were suddenly accessible and seen economically as a viable way to produce renewable energy. Production of photovoltaic panels had become less expensive, along with installation costs, thanks to thin film panels. This, coupled with government incentives to encourage green energy, has opened the floodgates when it comes to photovoltaic cell panels being used by homeowners, businesses and industry.
Photovoltaic solar cells for home use
We have seen small but significant steps recently. Photovoltaic solar cells and panels are now used for the power generation in grid connections. There are multiple power stations throughout the world being run on photovoltaic solar power. Photovoltaic cells are powering everything from roadway lighting systems to devices like street lights and parking meters in some parts of the world.
If you're someone who wants to go green but doubts the reliability of photovoltaic cells or solar power in your home, it is best to recognize that every little step is progress. It certainly does not hurt to make the initial investment and take baby steps as development and innovation continues to expand the potential for photovoltaic cells and solar power.