pho·​to·​vol·​ta·​ic | \ ˌfō-tō-väl-ˈtā-ik How to pronounce photovoltaic (audio) , -vōl- \

Definition of photovoltaic

: of, relating to, or utilizing the generation of a voltage when radiant energy falls on the boundary between dissimilar substances (such as two different semiconductors)

Other Words from photovoltaic

photovoltaic noun

Sunshine and Photovoltaic

The -voltaic part of photovoltaic comes from the name of Alessandro Volta, inventor of the electric battery. Thus, unlike photoelectric cells, which use electricity for certain small tasks, photovoltaic (or PV) cells actually produce electricity. Solar cells, the standard type of photovoltaic cells (often called simply photocells), operate without chemicals and with no moving parts to create energy directly from sunlight. Much research is now being done on creating an alternative technology—solar film, which could be stuck onto almost any surface, or possibly even sprayed on.

Examples of photovoltaic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those sources of energy use minuscule amounts of water in comparison, mostly to clean turbine blades and photovoltaic panels. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 May 2022 An array of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof provides about 90 percent of its energy needs. Justin Fenner, Robb Report, 30 Apr. 2022 Chan points out that rooftop spaces that would otherwise have been unusable will house photovoltaic panels instead. Y-jean Mun-delsalle, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 Copper is an important component for deploying photovoltaic solar power, and China is the world’s leading copper processor, with a market share of 40 percent. Jordan Mcgillis, National Review, 10 Mar. 2022 Another aid to decarbonization comes in the form of solar photovoltaic systems. Chris Gray, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2022 The technology, which directs and concentrates faint solar rays, could be used to power future missions to Jupiter or Saturn, according to Jeremiah McNatt, photovoltaic technology lead at the Glenn Research Center. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 23 Nov. 2021 The Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat ($2,900) features a photovoltaic cell underneath the numerals, which will power the quartz battery with sunlight for at least 16 years. Michael Solomon, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 Enlarge / Workers install photovoltaic panels on the roof at the reconstruction project of Fengtai Railway Station on November 12, 2021, in Beijing, China. Tim De Chant, Ars Technica, 6 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'photovoltaic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of photovoltaic

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for photovoltaic

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for photovoltaic

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The first known use of photovoltaic was circa 1889

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photovoltaic cell

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Photovoltaic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of photovoltaic for Spanish Speakers


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