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)

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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

Flexible electricity grid is key For photovoltaic to contribute to the grid security, PV plants must be run by operating systems that allow for better interaction with the electricity grid. Thomas Wolfgang Thurner, Quartz Africa, "Renewable energy managed over blockchain would boost Africa’s rural power access," 11 June 2019 By attracting the lowest-cost supply, this has driven solar photovoltaic prices down by half. Greg Ip, WSJ, "The Unrealistic Economics of the Green New Deal," 13 Feb. 2019 Think of a pane of glass with a photovoltaic frame. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Transparent solar cell turns edge on and generates its own light," 12 Dec. 2018 This custom dog house uses a passive solar design, which means that when sunlight strikes this dog house, the photovoltaic panels used can reflect or absorb the solar radiation, cooling it down or warming it up, so your pet stays comfy. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Chic Dog House Was Inspired By Frank Lloyd Wright’s Designs," 22 May 2019 According to analysis from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, utilities, individuals and businesses installed 10.6 billion watts of solar photovoltaic capacity last year, The Post’s Chris Mooney reports. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Interior agency gives employees "vision cards" depicting oil rigs," 16 Mar. 2018 While Tesla can outfit a home with traditional PV, or photovoltaic, panels made by SolarCity within six weeks, its once dominant market position has slipped against rivals Sunrun and Vivint Solar. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Burning for Tesla Powerwall? Get ready to wait as Musk's solar vision takes a backseat to Model 3," 13 July 2018 To that end, the bonnet is outfitted with both operable air vents and photovoltaic cells. Julie V. Iovine, WSJ, "The Most Ambitious Park in Russia," 25 July 2018 The roof of the facility is covered in photovoltaic panels. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of photovoltaic

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for photovoltaic

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Statistics for photovoltaic

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for photovoltaic

The first known use of photovoltaic was circa 1889

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More from Merriam-Webster on photovoltaic

Nglish: Translation of photovoltaic for Spanish Speakers

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having a desire to acquire more things

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