Solar cell
A solar cell is a solid state
Solid state (electronics)
Solid-state electronics are those circuits or devices built entirely from solid materials and in which the electrons, or other charge carriers, are confined entirely within the solid material...

 electrical device that converts the energy of light
Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light has wavelength in a range from about 380 nanometres to about 740 nm, with a frequency range of about 405 THz to 790 THz...

 directly into electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 by the photovoltaic effect
Photovoltaic effect
The photovoltaic effect is the creation of voltage or electric current in a material upon exposure to light. Though the photovoltaic effect is directly related to the photoelectric effect, they are different processes. In the photoelectric effect, electrons are ejected from a material's surface...


Assemblies of solar cells are used to make solar modules which are used to capture energy from sunlight
Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere, and solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon.When the direct solar radiation is not blocked...

. When multiple modules are assembled together (such as prior to installation on a pole-mounted tracker system), the resulting integrated group of modules all oriented in one plane is referred to in the solar industry as a solar panel.