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How does photovoltaics work?

Funktion PV faq

The basic principle of solar power generation

The basic principle of a photovoltaic system is the conversion of sunlight into electricity – by means of solar cells.
The main component of most solar cells is silicon. The element, which is very common in nature, is refined into high grade wafers for solar cells in special high-tech industrial processes.

If the sun shines onto the solar cells, the photo-effect, originally discovered by Albert Einstein, induces a DC voltage between the top and bottom, and electricity begins to flow. Commercially available solar cells today achieve an efficiency of up to 20% and are combined into solar modules of varying sizes.

The electrical energy, which is generated as direct current (DC), is converted to alternating current (AC) by an inverter (usually part of a grid feeder) and thus the solar power can be fed into the public power grid, used for own consumption or temporarily stored in batteries for later use.

Autonomous off-grid systems – also called "island systems“ – are the technology of choice for vacation homes, remote regions or special technological solutions that must function without grid access. Island systems do not feed the generated solar power into a grid at all, but instead for example supply small consumers and appliances in the house (lighting, light, cooling, pumps, etc.) directly from a battery.

Your installer will be happy to advise you on which product is best suited to your application.