Definition - What does Photovoltaic mean?

Photovoltaic is used to describe equipment that generates electricity from light. A photovoltaic device does this through the use of semiconductors that can be electrically charged by certain wavelengths of light. The electrically charged semiconductor then transmits energy in the form of electricity.

Photovoltaic solar cells are subject to many forms of corrosion and degradation. Electrical connections can become tarnished in the presence of salt water or salt air, and polymers can be destroyed by intense, continuous ultraviolet light.

Corrosionpedia explains Photovoltaic

The most common type of light used to charge the semiconductors in a photovoltaic device is sunlight. A photovoltaic device that collects and converts solar energy is referred to as a solar cell. Photovoltaic solar cells account for approximately one percent of the total power generation in the United States.

Photovoltaic units are often desirable for power generation because the light energy is considered renewable and photovoltaics create no pollution while in use.

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