That solar energy causes the semiconductor material to release electrons.
That wavelength is called the "band gap" of the type of semiconductor material used to make the cell.
Even through the use of multijunction cells and the most advanced semiconductor materials, solar cells have only advanced from 20 percent efficiency in the 1980s to just under 50 percent efficiency in 2008.
When sunlight hits the photovoltaic cells of the panels, a silicon semiconductor absorbs a percentage of the energy and turns it into a current of electricity.
The semiconductor is attached to a clear layer of the shingle and can be backed with many types of materials, including material, slate, or even asphalt.
Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) are the lower-end chip, with charge couple device (CCD) chips being a more up-market item.
The solar shingles, also called building integrated photovoltaics, generate electricity when the semiconductor layer is exposed to sun.
Photovoltaic cells, also known as PV or solar cells, are created from semiconductor material such as silicon.
However, as semiconductor technologies advance, and as scientists come up with additional unique methods of boosting solar cell efficiency, a world powered mostly by the sun's energy is quickly becoming a very real possibility.