Abdullah materials. The name ‘Photovoltaic’ is derived from the

Abdullah Abahusain

Professor M. Talebi

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Electrical Engineering 200

Dec 12, 2017

 

Photovoltaic panels and Fuel Cells

            This
essay presents the previous lecture’s summary about the topic ‘Photovoltaic
(PV) panels and fuel cells. The paper seeks to elaborate key points about
Photovoltaic panels and fuel cells as well as the differences between the two
electric energy sources. Photovoltaic panels converts light energy into
electric energy while fuel cells produces electric energy through chemical
reactions. This comes out clearly as the major difference between the two
energy sources. Another significant difference illustrated in the essay is the
differing working mechanism of the two energy. The information presented in
this essay demonstrates the knowledge and understanding of the lecture
materials.

            Photovoltaic
electricity is commonly known as solar electricity. Photovoltaic system
generates electric power directly from the sun’s light rays through an
electronic process, which occurs naturally in semiconductor materials. The name
‘Photovoltaic’ is derived from the operation mechanism of the energy system.

Photovoltaic (PV) device converts light (photons) into electricity (Voltage)
hence the name Photovoltaic. Traditional solar energy cells are usually made of
silicon but the second and third generation solar energy have been modified to
operate with other materials apart from silicon. Silicon however remains the
best material for the solar energy. Photovoltaic devices are normally renewable
energy sources.

            On
the other hand, fuel cells devices generates electric energy via a chemical
reaction. The cell contains an anode and cathode electrodes where the reaction
that generate electricity takes place. The cell contains an electrolyte that
enhances transportation of electrically charged particles and a catalyst that
helps in speeding up the reactions. Fuel cells uses hydrogen as the basic fuels
though oxygen is also required. The cell working entails the hydrogen atom
entering the cell through the anode where the atom loses its electron to become
positively charged. The negatively charged electron generates current to do
work through the wire. Fuel cells are nonrenewable.

            In
conclusion, photovoltaic panels are renewable energy sources while fuel cells
are renewable. Photovoltaics and fuel cells exhibit a significant difference in
the working principles to generate electricity.