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Solar Photovoltaic


The Solar Photovoltaic concept for energy is the conversion of natural or artificial lights into electricity.

The photon, which is the energy vector contained in light rays, while hitting on the solar panel will produce what is called the Photovoltaic effect, a mix of heat and electronic stimulation.

This electronic stimulation generates a movement of electrons in the solar cell and thus induces direct current electricity.

Cross section of a Photovoltaic cell

The construction of a Photovoltaic cell is made by layers. Two layers, in the middle, are semiconductor materials charged in positive/negative creating the electric stimulation, in sandwich between two electrodes to collect the electricity. 


The photovoltaic technology is still in development and gaining in efficiency every year.
The efficiency of solar cells has doubled over the last 40 years and has the same trajectory for the coming decade.

Solar Photovoltaic farm

Solar Photovoltaic farms tend to follow the same global layout, covering giant surfaces with solar panels in regions well exposed to the sun.
Yet, in the detail the design of Solar Photovoltaic farms, despite the cell technology itself, can be defined in three category:

  • Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPC)
    In this design, panels tracks and follows the sun position. And then uses mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight energy on high-efficiency photovoltaic cells.
  • Photovoltaic simple face
    This is the most common design of Solar Photovoltaic farm where panels are fixed to the position maximizing their solar exposition.
  • Photovoltaic double face
    Less obvious, this design displace photovoltaic cells on both sides of the panel. One facing the sun directly and the other facing the sun light reflection from the ground.
    This design tends to produce 10 to 30% more than simple face design.
Concentrator Photovoltaic

The construction of Solar Photovoltaic farms is currently experiencing a boom worldwide, yet it raises one major challenge lying in the life cycle of the photovoltaic cell.

The problematic comes from the many minerals which need to be extracted from rare earths mines and then processed to build a solar panel.
This transformation is a great energy consumer, to the extend this energy represents the first two years of the panel’s energy production. And the quantity of rare earth mineral is greatly limited.

Despite this challenge, more and more projects of solar photovoltaic farms are announced every day, expanding in size and in efficiency. Of course, you can count on Project Smart Explorer to guide you on these projects:

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