Understanding the Types of Solar Cells

Green energy has attracted much attention in the last 10 years because of its cost-effective and Earth-friendly ways of gathering energy. This constant and reliable energy source lasts as long as the Earth does which encourages the adoption of energy-friendly policies. The main proponent of green energy is solar, since is the most convenient and profitable renewable energy source.

Solar energy refers to solar radiation energy produced by the sun. This energy is garnered through solar cells, also known as “solar chip,” which is a kind of photoelectric semiconductor wafer that works by solar energy.  Solar cells can be divided into single crystal silicon solar cell, polycrystalline silicon solar cell and thin film solar cells.

The earliest type of solar cells is the single crystal silicon solar cell. Silicon solar cells fall into two categories: polycrystalline silicon solar cells and amorphous silicon solar cells.  As an abundant natural earth element, silicon is vital for the solar industry and is used in almost all types of cells.

Single crystal silicon solar cell is another types of solar cells that is currently developed at a faster rate. This type of cells is so widely used that astronauts brought it into space! It requires a high purity of silicon, close to 99.999%.

Another type of cells is known as polycrystalline silicon solar cells. is to save costs. The production process of polycrystalline silicon is similar to the production process of single crystal but the photoelectric silicon conversion efficiency is about 12%, which lower than the single crystal silicon solar cell. While these cells are generally cheaper, this cells uses jade making it less convenient to produce than polycrystalline silicon.

The final type of cells is thin film solar cells. They are produced with lower priced materials, such as glass, plastics, ceramics, graphite, metal strips, etc, and are only a few nanometers thick. Experts believe that within the next 5 years, thin film solar cells will be widely used in our watches, calculators, and even clothing.