What is photovoltaics (solar electricity) or “PV”?

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“Photovoltaics” comes from two words: photo, a stem derived from the Greek phos, which means light; and volt, a measurement unit named for Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), a pioneer in the study of electricity. So, photovoltaics could literally be translated as light-electricity. And that’s what photovoltaics do; convert light energy to electricity.