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Running Head: Photosynthesis and Semi-Conductor based Solar Cells

Photosynthesis and Semi-Conductor based Solar Cells

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October 22, 2011

Photosynthesis and Semi-Conductor based Solar Cells

Plants opened opportunities to develop a source of energy from the photosynthesis process. Experts have tried to reproduce the process of photosynthesis with unproductive outcomes. For the purpose of this assignment, will explore energy generated processes through photosynthesis and a semi-conductor based solar cell. Also, will explain how both processes are related to the laws of thermodynamics.

Both processes have similarities, and differences. Amid the similitude's are that both processes gather sunlight, separate water molecules, and generate energy outputs. For instance, plants receive sunlight when are on direct contact with the sun, while solar cells collect rays through photovoltaic (PV) panels. Sunlight energy is immersed when "large numbers of chlorophyll molecules acts as the antenna that actually harvest sunlight and start to convert it in to a useful form"(Why are plants green? - MSU Physics and Astronomy, 1996). Both photosynthesis and semi-conductor based solar cells are significant due to their possibilities of production. “Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, use the energy from sunlight to produce sugar, which cellular respiration converts into ATP, the "fuel" used by all living things. The conversion of unusable sunlight energy into usable chemical energy, is associated with the actions of the green pigment chlorophyll”(PHOTOSYNTHESIS - Maricopa Community Colleges, 2010).

Throughout the photosynthesis process plants add in solar energy, and carbon dioxide to change water molecules into hydrogen, electrons, and oxygen. Generating electricity by means of solar cells is quite similar to the light reaction of photosynthesis. “This process is called photovoltaics. The electrons in the solar...