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PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF PHOTOVOLTAICS ?

V. Ryan 2005 - 2009

 

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In the example shown below photovoltaic panels are used to produce electricity which powers a water pump, pumping drinking water from a well. This is especially useful in agriculture and in the third world where wells can be extremely deep. The power produced by the photovoltaic panels is also used to power a purification system, cleaning the water, removing dangerous impurities and harmful bacteria.
When not being used to pump water, the electricity can be stored in batteries so that the pump can be used at night.

The phone box seen opposite is powered directly by photovoltaic cells during the day. The batteries are also charged during sun light hours.

This type of communication system is ideal for remote areas where electricity from the power grid is not available. They have been tested in third world countries and have proved successful. However, the priority for most third world countries is to ensure that people in remote areas have clean drinking water rather than Hi-Tech communication systems.

In industrial / developed countries photovoltaic cells are used to power automatic weather stations. Next time you drive down a motorway / highway watch out for photovoltaic systems as they are sometimes used to power electronic systems measuring traffic congestion and traffic flow.

   
 
   

The photovoltaic panel is being placed on the roof of a single story house in a village in Africa. The panel will provide enough electrical power for a phone. This is the only phone for a radius of 100 miles. It is an essential tool of communication for the whole village as well as the surrounding area.

   
Below is a photograph of a typical photovoltaic panel system, on the roof of a house in the UK. This system allows the owner to sell generated electricity to the National Grid. This effectively lowers the house owners electricity bills. Systems like solar panels, help reduce the UKs reliance fossil fuel burning electricity power stations.
   
solar panel on roof
   
Photograph showing an arrangement of photovoltaic panels
   
solar panel on roof
   
QUESTION:
1. With the aid of diagrams and notes, describe a new way in which photovoltaic cells could be used to provide power for a useful device.
   
 
   
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