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How many volts does a photovoltaic cell produce?

In this article we will talk about How many volts does a photovoltaic cell produce?

How many volts does a photovoltaic cell produce?

Solar energy, photovoltaic panels or batteries for self-consumption are terms that we have all become familiar with in recent years, but  do we really know how they work?

What chemical process converts the sun’s energy into the alternating current that powers our homes? These are questions that we have asked ourselves more than once and that have a more affordable explanation than one might initially expect.

What is a photovoltaic cell?

A photovoltaic or solar cell is an instrument that generates electricity directly from sunlight, from solar radiation. In order to generate useful energy, the photovoltaic cells must be interconnected, thus forming a solar panel. This solar panel is also sometimes known as a photovoltaic module.

From having this basic information, the question arises of wanting to know how many volts a photovoltaic cell produces. This is a question because many times the power produced by the panel itself is presented, without specifying how many volts a photovoltaic cell produces.

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How many volts does a photovoltaic cell produce?


On the one hand we have crystalline solar cells. How many volts does a photovoltaic cell of this type produce? Crystalline cells typically produce an individual voltage of 0.5 to 0.6 volts. In this case, in order to produce an open circuit of 20 volts, for example, 36 solar cells or photovoltaic cells are needed. This circuit will be enough to charge a 12 volt battery. In general, crystalline solar cells are divided into monocrystalline and polycrystalline.

monocrystalline _they are made from a single crystal and allow us to better absorb solar radiation, while the polycrystalline ones are made from fragmented crystals and allow us to absorb the sun’s rays at a lower level. On the other hand we have the amorphous cells. When asked how many volts a photovoltaic cell of this type produces, the answer is that the energy is much less than that produced in the previous cases. We’re talking really small numbers here because amorphous cells are used for very small devices like solar calculators and lawn lights, although they’re starting to be used in larger and larger panels. The composition of amorphous cells is different from those we have named above.

How do we know how many volts a photovoltaic cell produces?

The individual cells are not as visible here as in other types of solar panels. In this case we have to clarify, as we said at the beginning of the paragraph, that the performance of the amorphous photovoltaic cells will be lower than that of the individual ones. Logically, the more volts a photovoltaic cell produces, the more capacity it will have to provide us with energy.

That is why if we are going to build a solar panel to supply ourselves with a large amount of energy, it is important that we know how many volts a photovoltaic cell produces in order to know how many we will need.

Logically, if we are going to use solar panels to supply ourselves with large amounts of energy, we will have to select cells that provide us with moderately high power, and we will not be able to keep the smaller ones.

For the smallest appliances in the house we do not need photovoltaic cells with so much power, because the energy consumed by small appliances is moderately low. Logically, if we want to know how many volts a photovoltaic cell produces, the main thing we will have to take into account will be the size of the cell together with the average voltages.

In general, a photovoltaic cell of 12X12cm can provide us with 0.5 volts (which is equivalent to 1 amp) of electrical current. If the cells are larger the voltage will probably increase. Regardless of how many volts a particular photovoltaic cell produces, we have to say that the efficiency of this technology is still relatively low.

This round between 15 and 25%, which is a fairly low number. That is why it is important to promote research in order to develop new technologies that increase the production capacity of the cells, that is, when counting how many volts a photovoltaic cell produces, we find a higher number than now, and then when adding All cells can find a global efficiency of the circuit that exceeds what we can find today in most panels.

If we want a solar panel system that works correctly, beyond knowing how many volts a photovoltaic cell produces, it will be important that we can take care of the system. We will then have to think about how to protect these cells so that they can function optimally.

It will be important to be able to cover them with anti-hail glass and also frame them in a mechanical support structure, which is usually aluminum in order to facilitate installation at first. On the other hand, the cleaning of the crystals will also be essential so that solar radiation can be well absorbed and the panel works at its maximum power.

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