The Photovoltaic cells which are known as PV in short form are the devices which convert sunlight into power, this eliminates totally use of mechanical generators and thermodynamic cycles.
The full definition of Photovoltaic is in the name itself; photo means light and voltaic means electricity. Due to the advancement in the technology the prices of solar panels have been dropping every year as compared to the prices a decade ago.
The prices still are very high that is the reason why most of the household are not shifting to solar power; the prices could be more due to the technology which has become superior over the years. In the past, electricity produced was not that high but with the modern technology and use of photovoltaic cells, now more watts are generated.
The prices can further reduce with advanced technology, mass production and also making it more popular with the general masses. Even if you get partial supply of the solar power, you can still save lot of money on the energy bills and run most of the appliances on solar power.
The price of photovoltaic cells mainly depends upon the quality, age and technology. Wind turbines have been there for hundreds of years, but the technology in the solar cells has improved greatly. In some case the entire energy demands can be met with solar power alone.
There are instances where people are producing surplus power and earning money. Both solar and wind power is the answer to the growing demands of the energy in coming years.
Presently silicon based solar cells are available which are quite efficient in providing neat, fresh and clean energy using sunlight. Silicon costs $75 to $80 per kilo that too for long term contracts, it is a material of choice for the electronic industry, because it is not toxic and is very efficient.
But the prices are still very high. The organic semiconductors which are carbon based have become quite promising, it is due to the lightweight and flexible solar cells that may eventually become quite cost effective to generate since they may be printed on the large sheet which are cheap and that too at room temperature.
The most expensive of all types could be the Monocrystalline silicon, such material is very effective. The polycrystalline silicon though is very cost effective but its efficacy is not that good.
Photovoltaic solar cells are very effective in generating electricity using sunlight. The economic meltdown might have affected this technology also, but it is still the most acceptable source of energy which does not affect the environment and the source of solar energy is unending. It might be costly investment in the beginning but one is assured to recover the cost in few years.
The best part is that not only you can store energy and use it in the evenings and nights, but whatever surplus you produce can be an extra income for you. You have option to sell extra power to the utility companies and get rebate in your energy bills. There are many subsidies and incentives given by the government also.