PATRICK DUMAS / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK DUMAS / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Solar panel industry. Worker assembling pieces of polycrystalline silicon to form photovoltaic cells. Here, the polycrystalline silicon has been laminated by a backing material, and several of the photovoltaic cells (squares) have been joined together to form a larger array (rectangle). The entire array plus the supporting casing seen around the edge, is known as a solar panel. Silicon is used in photovoltaic cells because, as a semiconductor material, it has space in its electronic structure to absorb the energy of incoming sunlight and convert it into an electrical current. Photographed at the Photowatt factory in Caen, France.
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