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Plant Cell vs Solar Cell

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Plant Cell versus Solar Cell
Katrina Minchew
July 18, 2011
Strayer University

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Photosynthesis is defined as the process in which green plants and other organisms by which carbohydrates are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water using light as an energy source. It takes place mainly inside the leaves. This process utilizes light energy and it is transformed into chemical energy used to create organic compounds. Photosynthesis consists of two processes that use both light and dark energy. The first process, light reaction transforms light into energy. The second process utilizes dark reactions, use the energy and carbon dioxide to produce sugar. The process needs sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. These materials are transported through the leaves. Water is absorbed by the plant through the roots and is then delivered to the leaves through the plant tissue. The carbon dioxide is absorbed through small holes in plant leaves known as stomata. It also releases oxygen. The process known as chlorophyll is when the green pigment of plants and photosynthetic algae and bacteria trap the energy of sunlight. In plants, photosynthesis takes place inside the chloroplasts, which is the organelle that carries out photosynthesis and starch grain formation. A chlorophyll-containing organelle in plants is the site of photosynthesis.

A solar cell also known as the photovoltaic cell is a solid state electrical mechanism that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect. This effect causes the cell to transform light directly into electrical energy and occurs in the three energy-conversion layers. “The first of these three layers needed for energy conversion in a solar cell is the top junction layer (made of N-type semiconductor). The next layer in the structure is the core of the device; this is the absorber layer (the P-N junction). The last of the energy-conversion layers is the back junction layer (made of P-type semiconductor).” (Hyper physics, 2011) The solar cells transform energy without using either chemical interaction or moving parts. Modern solar cells are based on semiconductor physics in which are mostly P-N junction photodiodes with a huge light-sensitive region.
There are many ways where photosynthesis and solar cell are similar to one another. First, they both absorb solar energy. Second, they also both transform into a useful form of energy, either organic or electrical. Finally, they both perform best when directly upright to the sun’s waves.

There are several ways in which photosynthesis and solar cell are different from one another. First, photosynthesis is chemically created where as solar cell is created electrically. Next, photosynthesis is self produced where solar cell is more factory created. And third, photosynthesis is uneven where as solar cell is flexible.

The Laws of Thermodynamics relate to every system that involves energy and energy conversions. Both photosynthesis and semiconductor-based solar cells use these thermodynamic laws. “The First Law of Thermodynamics, the Law of Conservation states that energy is never created or destroyed only altered. The second law, the Law of Transformation states that with every change or reaction some energy is lost to entropy (unorganized energy).” (Hyper physics, 2011) In photosynthesis, the plant doesn’t create energy it converts light energy into food energy, most commonly known as sugar. This is part of the first law. According to the second law, the transformation law, not all of the energy is changed during photosynthesis due to most of it is lost as heat. In the third law, the law of entropy, in order to maintain the process of photosynthesis, it needs a continuous flow of energy to work properly.

References 1. Pulled July 18, 2011 from

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