Crystalline silicon solar cells
Posted by Solar energy guru | Filed under Solar panels & photovoltaic cells
Most solar panels you will find will likely consist of crystalline silicon solar cells. While these solar panels will be convenient and effective enough to be a worthwhile investment there are still some downsides to these solar cells. It is not necessarily said that crystalline silicon solar cells are terrible but rather the alternative is so much superior that it makes silicon solar cells seem like a bad investment.
Basically, crystalline silicon solar cells are the most common type of solar cells. However, there is an alternative which is much more efficient and these are multijunction solar cells. In particular, triple-junction solar cells, which are the most efficient solar cells available to date with record breaking efficiencies that surpass a 40% efficiency rating. While the alternative may seem like a better choice it does come with a much higher price tag. Crystalline silicon solar cells are probably going to be the only option within your budget so you will want to know more about them.
What Are Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells?
These solar cells are created with a mass-produced material (crystalline silicon) and there are three different variations of this material. The three types of crystalline silicon are ingot, ribbon, and wafer. Crystalline silicon solar cells are designed fairly thick and can be convenient but they are not great at absorbing incident light, unlike multijunction solar cells.
Crystalline silicon solar cells can still reach around 10-16% efficiency but this is nowhere near that of the alternative. Even with a lower efficiency it should still be enough to rely on as long as you do not need to convert a massive amount of light. Crystalline silicon solar cells are also not a great option if you plan on using them wit a collector cell.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
The biggest advantage for crystalline silicon solar cells would definitely be the fact that they are inexpensive. If you are looking to purchase solar panels on a budget you will be limited in choice so you may be forced to choose solar panels with crystalline silicon solar cells as they are definitely affordable. Also, even though they may not be anywhere near impressive when lined up with multijunction solar cells, they are still reliable enough to use under most circumstances.
Of course, the biggest disadvantage for crystalline silicon solar cells would be the low efficiency. These solar cells are also cheaply made and consist of inexpensive materials. These disadvantages could very well make crystalline silicon solar cells seem like a very bad investment but it basically comes down to the old saying “You get what you pay for.”
If you do not do your research before buying solar panels then you may end up with a solar panel that is designed with low efficiency solar cells. You should definitely look for alternatives which are higher efficiency before buying the first solar panel you see at the store. If you made it to this point then that is likely what you are doing and it would be suggested to look for affordable solar panels that are designed with solar cells with a moderately high efficiency rating. While this may seem impossible to find there should be something that is within your budget and can perform well enough that it will meet your expectations.
In closing, if you are looking to invest in solar panels then you should take a look at your options. If you have a specific need to convert a large amount of incident light in a small area of solar cells then you will not be very impressed by crystalline silicon solar cells. Otherwise, if you are shopping on a budget and do not have a complex situation then you will probably want to invest in crystalline silicon solar cells as they are the best option for your circumstances.