It was with those concerns in mind that I decided to explore the practical side of photovoltaic energy: In 2007 I built a PV system to power my living room. Though reasonably well informed on the semiconductor physics of PV junctions, I felt unsuitably prepared to evaluate the practical realities of owning and operating a personal solar PV system. Because I believe physicists can play a role in our energy future that extends beyond the confines of advanced research, I want to share my experiences in the hope that others might develop home PV projects. What better way to motivate innovation in the alternative-energy sector than to get a talented pool of physicists engaged on a personal level?
A recommended reading if you don't get a subscription to Physics Today.