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Shining Light on Solar Cells - Chapter 1: Introduction


Why should you care about solar?

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. The earth receives so much sunlight from the sun. In fact, if we can use solar cells to convert one hour of sunlight the earth receives into energy, we basically fulfilled one year of global energy demand. This way, we wouldn’t have to depend on burning coal to generate electricity.

The Sun

So, why didn’t we do it already? Well, we are extremely far from achieving this. Combining all the solar panels in the world, would not even allow us to harness 1% of the sun’s energy. So, let us install more solar panels? Make solar panels more efficient? Well, this is a complicated subject matter which has no one direct answer. But nevertheless, photovoltaics (the process of converting sunlight into electricity) is one of the most researched topics today in science and engineering.

Solar Cell Farm

How this video series works + intention

This video series + its accompanying articles intend to teach you everything you need to know about solar cells in a fun, intuitive, and rewarding manner. The first part of the video series covers the science and theory of how solar cell works, while the second part (chapter 6 onwards) dives into the applications and research areas of solar cells. At the end of the series, not only would you know how a solar cell works, but also on some solar cell economics. Finally, for those who are interested to pursue research into solar cells, you can learn about current research areas in solar cells.

This video series encompasses a full package of all knowledge areas related to the science and engineering of solar cells, to tailor to a wide range of reasons you might be learning it for.

On a personal note, I hope with my video series I can spread my enthusiasm and love for photovoltaics and perhaps initiate a momentum to inspire more people to contribute to the progress of photovoltaics, whether it is just by spreading the word or up until making ground-breaking research.

Let us sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Other parts in this series:


Bell Labs 1954 solar cell

Record-breaking efficiency solar cells by NREL

I'm an R&D Mechanical Engineer specializing in thermal management of electronic products. I am also a part-time university researcher in third-generation photovoltaics. I hope to one day use my profession to bring the world one step closer to deter climate change and energy poverty.

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