Photosynthesis and Semiconductor Based Solar Cells
Photosynthesis is a very important natural process that enhances conversion of solar energy by green plants to chemical energy in the chloroplast. The process occurs during the day in the leaves of green plants. Green plants contain chlorophyll; the green pigment in green plants that is responsible for their color. When solar energy is irradiated on the leaves of the green plants, photons of solar energy strike chlorophyll molecules and knock off an electron. It is this very energetic electron that is ejected that is used to generate ATP and NADH that are used in the synthesis of glucose.
Semiconductor solar based cells absorb photons of solar energy once the cells are exposed to solar radiation. The absorbed solar energy provides the essential energy required to knock off electrons and hence set them free to travel in the module.
It is evident that both photosynthesis and semiconductor solar based cells rely on the photons of solar energy that they absorb from the solar energy to initiate the crucial processes that result in the useful end products. Electrons ejected in either process are usually an intermediary between the processes of absorption of solar energy and the end products. The greatest level of these processes is achieved when the cells are oriented perpendicular to the sun’s rays.
The major difference between photosynthesis and a semiconductor solar based cell is that the former is a natural process that converts solar energy into chemical energy; the latter is a made technology that converts solar energy to electrical energy. Whereas semiconductor solar based cells are flexible as they come in different shapes and sizes, photosynthesis process is a rigid process.
The laws of dynamics are witnessed in the process of photosynthesis as solar energy is converted to chemical energy. This implies that no amount of energy is created or destroyed during this process; only transformation of energy from one form to another occurs.