THE PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT (EINSTEIN 1905)
Albert Einstein first introduced the concept of “quanta of light” in a brilliant work that won him the Nobel prize for physics in 1921. In this work, Einstein succeeded in explaining the photoelectric effect that had been baffling scientists for the previous twenty years. According to Einstein, electrons can become detached from their atoms as a result of impact with particles charged with energy. UV radiation has the energy necessary to do this because its frequency is higher than that of other forms of radiation. Le wis re-baptised the quantas of light “photons” in 1926.
Einstein’s work introduced the theory that particles (photons) can have wave-like properties (i.e. frequency) while continuing to behave as particles.
Certain materials called SEMICONDUCTORS can use the sun’s electromagnetic radiation to induce a flow of electrons in a circuit and thus generate e.m.f.. Scientifically, this phenomenon is referred to as the “photoelectric effect”.
The basic parameters governing the installation of a photovoltaic panel are:
Tilt is the angle of the panel with respect to the horizontal, and must be optimised according to the angle of the sun above the horizon.
Azimuth is the angle of the panel with respect to geographic south e.g. south = 0°, east -90°