Generating Electricity from the Sun
The PV cells are made up of thin layers of phosphorus and baron imbedded semi-conducting silicon wafers that absorb light particles, called photons, from the sun. When the photons hit the atoms in the semi-conductive wafers, they knock loose some of the atoms’ extra electrons. Now the electrons are free to move anywhere.
By attracting conducting wires to the PV cell the electrons flow away from the cell in the form of direct current (DC) electricity. To make electricity usable here or at home, it must be converted into alternating current (AC) electricity.
The Maryland Science Center solar system generates approximately 470 kilowatts per day in peak times. This is enough to power 14 average homes per day in the United States.
(Inscription in the image on the right)
All electrical systems run normally, rain or shine, because the home stays connected to the utility grid.
Solar modules convert
The inverter converts the DC electricity generated by the solar modules into household AC current that can be used to power loads throughout the house. The home solar electric system connects into the existing household electrical panel. The utility meter tracks actual power usage and production, spinning forward when electricity is used from the electrical grid, and spinning backwards, generating a credit, when the solar system creates more electricity than is used.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Science & Medicine.
Location. 39° 16.868′ N, 76° 36.686′ W. Marker is in Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on Key Highway. The marker is on the east side of the Maryland Science Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Olmsted Legacy (within shouting distance of this marker); Port of Baltimore (within shouting distance of this marker); United States Merchant Seamen Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore’s Part in Saving the Bay
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 29, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 153 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 29, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.