By: Daphne, Sara, Tristan, Jonathan
Costs to put the alternative energy into the average home
Solar Panels are the most common way to use photovoltaic cells. A solar panel would cost anywhere between $4,000 and $11,000 to provide enough energy for a day for an average family to use. It would cost between $20,000 and $40,000 for the government to create projects to sustain our energy usage because the average household uses 911 kilowatt hours per month. You can save about $74 per month by installing solar panels.
How Photovoltaic cells work
Photovoltaic cells are like batteries and generate direct current which is used for small amounts of electronic equipment. When direct current coming from loose electrons striked by sunlight is used for commercial applications it must be converted to alternating current using solar panels. Light striking silicon semi-conductors causes electrons to flow, creating electricity. Solar panels are used for homes and public facilities such as schools and hospitals.
Development of Photovoltaic Cells
In 1839 a french physicist Alexandre Becquerel was experimenting with metal electrodes and electrolyte when he observed a physical phenomenon allowing light conversion. In 1883 Charles Fritts described the first solar cells made from selenium then in 188 Edward Weston receives the first US Patent for the Solar Cell. More scientists and physicists began experimenting with the Solar Cells and by 1990 Germany launched the $500million "100,000 Solar Roofs" program. Calculators were some of the first objects to use photovoltaic cells. Calculators were made with solar panels instead of batteries because they were cheaper. When sunlight struck the calculator it powered the calculator and would charge it up. When the calculator had no charge from the sun it would no longer work.
How can Photovoltaic Cells harm the enviroment
When making solar panels they require caustic chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and hydrofluoric acid. The process of of making Solar Panels using the gases emits greenhouse gases. If high amounts of those gases got out they could kill trees and majorly pollute our environment.