Photovoltaic Cell

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Photovoltaic Cell
Imperial Sunburst-Sun-IISS-Traveller.gif
TBD
Type Power Supply
Tech Level TL–6
Cost kCr150
Reference TBD
Size 12.0 liters
Weight 8.0 kg
Manufacturer Various
Also see
Per m2

A Photovoltaic Cell is a device that converts light energy into electricity via the photovoltaic effect, where the photons trigger the release of electrons in a semi-conductor material. These devices are also know as Photoelectic or Solar cells, the latter based upon the usual source of light to power them.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

In most cases PV cells are gathered into an large array to provide more power. Most PV cells are about 1cm square.

These cells are mounted on a light aluminum or flexible plastic backing with a transparent cover to protect the cells from incidental damage. This is sufficient for light weight consumer goods. For industrial use the cells are mounted on a heavier backing and given a stronger (but more transparent) cover.

Photovoltaic Power Efficiencies[edit]

Photovoltaic cell per m2
TL Weight
(kg)
Cost
kCr
Output
(kW)
6 8 150 3
7 6 80 3
8 4 45 3
9 3 25 2.5
10 2 12 1.8
11 1 6 1.4

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Usually discovered around TL–5, PV cells become commercially available at TL–6. Primitive PV cells are highly inefficient (1% or worse) usually because the semiconductor material is sensitive to a single or limited array of wavelengths. At TL–7 this efficiency has improved to 6%, 15% at TL–8, and, with the addition of multiple layer crystal systems, 40% at TL–9.

Photovoltaic cells are an especially well adapted power source for Space Stations which are orbiting near a star: the PV panels may face constantly the star and receive a constant light radiation, thus giving a constant power output. PV panels having very long lifetimes (up to 30 years at TL–9), they make an interesting power source for such isolated stations.

Image Repository[edit]

No information yet available.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.