photovoltaic (PV) solar panels is generated when illuminated a photovoltaic material. Solar radiation, the light is converted into direct current or DC electricity by means of semiconductors. The cost of installing photovoltaic solar panels has fallen sharply in recent years, mainly because of progress in the required technology, driven by a worldwide need to move from polluting fossil fuels. Countries such as Canada, Italy, Germany and Spain lead the world in solar energy installations with most other countries rapidly expand their use of solar energy.
The term photovoltaic comes from the Greek word for light, photos, and a reference to Alessandro Volta, an early innovator of electrical energy. The photovoltaic effect was discovered in 1839 by Edmond Becquerel, a French physicist. His experimental work with semiconductors and light led directly to the invention of the solar cell that produces photovoltaic energy.
Most people mistakenly believe that PV energy is dependent on the sun to generate electricity from solar cells. Although it is true that the stronger the light source, the greater the electrical power generated, photovoltaic has only light to work. Solar cells will still generate electrical energy on a cloudy day, but the capacity will be less than it can produce on a clear sunny day. Sunshine offers simply the greatest amount of focused light is available, which is why the countries that too much of the sun enjoying the use of PV energy technology have embraced.
Advances in technology surrounding solar photovoltaics have made it easy and profitable for northern countries to determine the use of solar energy successfully. While the Nordic countries, for example, may receive only gets about a third of sunny days a southern European country, the greater efficiency of current solar cells in comparison with the beginning of the technology has helped to keep things in balance bring to a point where solar energy is seen as the best alternative to fossil fuels. While there are advancements in technology surrounding wind energy and wave energy, as well as other environmentally friendly energy sources, solar energy is increasingly seen as the best way forward.
Photovoltaic energy is the fastest growing energy-based technologies in the world today. Most of feeding systems to a national grid, but home solar pv installations electricity supplement are becoming more popular as well. Solar cells are usually built into the roofs and walls of new houses, but can be easily retrofitted in older homes as well. In a world that wants to distance itself from the polluting effects of fossil fuels, photovoltaics seems the most likely successor viable.
Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Photovoltaic-Energy&id=6535997 by Jimmy McIver