Photovoltaic (PV) systems
- Initially developed for the space program over 30 years ago, PV, like a fuel cell, relies upon chemical reactions to generate electricity. PV cells are small, square shaped semiconductors manufactured in thin film layers from silicon and other conductive materials. When sunlight strikes the PV cell, chemical reactions release electrons, generating electric current. The small current from individual PV cells, which are installed in modules, can power individual homes and businesses or can be plugged into the bulk electricity grid.