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Ben Stratton Mrs. Miller English 9 May 16, 2008 Solar Power Solar power is the world’s cleanest source of gathering electricity, and is known as the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Considering the fact that generally all the Earth’s energy once came from the Sun, less than 0.05% of the world’s power plants use this tactic of generating electricity. 1 This old yet “new” source of energy is one that someone might take advantage of due to its well-researched efficiency and cleanliness. Ho
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Ben Stratton Mrs. Miller English 9 May 16, 2008 Solar Power Solar power is the world\u2019s cleanest source of gathering electricity, and is known as the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Considering the fact that generally all the Earth\u2019s energy once came from the Sun, less than 0.05% of the world\u2019s power plants use this tactic of generating electricity.1 This old yet \u201cnew\u201d source of energy is one that someone might take advantage of due to its well-researched efficiency and cleanliness. However, it was not until 1883 that the first solar cell was built, by Charles Fritts, who coated the semiconductor selenium with an extremely thin layer of gold to form the junctions. The device was only around 1% efficient. In the past hundred years people have needed electricity to power many objects to fulfill their needs; such as lighting a house, using a clock, microwaving or refrigerating food, or even utilizing a machine like a computer or TV. In order to get electricity there must be a source of some sort that produces it. There are up to 7 main sources of power that are in use today, but only 1 of them produce electricity with no pollution in the result of such production. Solar semiconductors can harness energy of the Sun simply by being in its rays. This is possible because the Sun puts off radiation which sends small particles, called 1 Gadler, Steve, and Wendy Adamson. Sun Power. Lerner Publications Company, (Gadler and Adamson 9).photons, 186,000 miles per second though space into our atmosphere. When these photons reflect off of the semiconductor, a small amount of them are absorbed. When the photons are absorbed they are still moving the same speed within the semiconductor. This motion causes friction, and as the friction occurs electrons are excited and “brake loose” in the conductor which causes electricity to occur. After the electricity is occurring, it is drawn/focused to small strips of metal, called conductors. At this point the harnessed electricity is transformed into chemical energy in device consisting of one or more galvanic cells, also known as a battery. After all, the electrical energy is finally harnessed, and is ready for many uses. Solar semiconductors are made in a very unique way that are generally composed of silicon or germanium, and copper. There are many ways to make solar semiconductors, but one technique is to drop small particles of a pure silicon substance and heat them in to a liquid as they fall in to a mold. When it falls in to a mold, it is then cooled into a block of solid silicon substance. When it is solid, it is sliced, cut, and fined to the appropriate size. After the silicon is primed into a flat sheet, copper is then applied to sheet to form as conductors. When these processes are done, wiring is then installed to drive the electrical current into a battery. A solar semiconductors’ energy conversion efficiency is the percent of power converted and collected when a solar semiconductor is connected to an electrical circuit. The semiconductors’ efficiency can be calculated be the equation “maximum power divided be the product of Watts per meter squared and meters squared; .“
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