Solar cells

solar cell

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

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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.
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Cultural Dictionary

solar cells definition


Devices, usually made of semiconductors, that convert sunlight directly into electric current. Solar cells power artificial satellites and are often used in remote locations of the Earth.

Note: At present, solar cells are too expensive and inefficient to be used for commercial generation of electricity.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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