Principle of solar energy: The Photovoltaic effect
Photovoltaic (PV) effect is the conversion of sunlight energy into electricity.
In a PV system, the PV cells exercise this effect. Semi-conducting materials in the PV cell are doped to form P-N structure as an internal electric field. The p-type (positive) silicon has the tendency to give up electrons and acquire holes while the n-type (negative) silicon accepts electrons. When sunlight hit the cell, the photons in light excite some of the electrons in the semiconductors to become electron-hole (negative-positive) pairs. Since there is an internal electric field, these pairs are induced to separate. As a consequence, the electrons move to the negative electrode while the holes move to the positive electrode. A conducting wire connects the negative electrode, the load, and the positive electrode in series to form a circuit. As a result, an electric current is generated to supply the external load. This is how PV effect works in a solar cell.