solar cell

noun
a photovoltaic cell that converts sunlight directly into electricity.
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World English Dictionary
solar cell
 
n
a photovoltaic cell that produces electricity from the sun's rays, used esp in spacecraft

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
solar cell  


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A photoelectric cell designed to convert sunlight into electrical energy, typically consisting of layers or sheets of specially prepared silicon. Electrons, displaced through the photoelectric effect by the Sun's radiant energy in one layer, flow across a junction to the other layer, creating a voltage across the layers that can provide power to an external circuit. Solar cells are used as power supplies in calculators, satellites, and other devices, and as a primary source of electricity in remote locations.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Scientists have invented a plastic solar cell that can turn the sun's power
  into electrical energy, even on a cloudy day.
Solar cell manufacture generates small amounts of hazardous materials, but they
  generate none during use.
It's the birthplace of the transistor, the laser, the solar cell and the fax
  machine.
Out of the end comes a new type of solar cell which promises to be both
  efficient and cheap.
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