The world of solar energy is vast and ever-evolving, with various types of solar cells paving the way for a greener future. From the traditional silicon-based models to the innovative thin-film technologies, each type of solar cell offers unique features and applications. Whether it’s for residential rooftops, commercial buildings, or cutting-edge space missions, understanding the different types of solar cell is key to harnessing the sun’s power effectively. In this blog, we will discuss the world of photovoltaic technology, examining the distinct characteristics and advantages of each solar cell type.
You’ve probably seen solar panels before; they all look the same. However, they are more complicated than they appear and are of several types. One of the main components of a solar panel is solar cells. Understanding the varieties of solar cells is necessary to choose the best while buying. The following are some of the most common types of solar cell.
Crystalline Silicon Cells
The most well-liked solar cells on the market today are made of crystalline silicon, offering the best energy conversion efficiency of all commercial solar cells and modules. These standard cells are created using one of two boron-doped p-type silicon substrates. Crystalline cells are of two types:
A solar panel comprises a single crystal of silicon and is referred to as a monocrystalline solar panel. The name of the panel comes from a cylindrical silicon. In monocrystalline cells, the bottom has a positive electrical orientation, and the top surface is diffused with electrically negative phosphorous, which produces the electric field.
Many silicon granules, often called multi-crystalline solar cells, are fused to create the wafers for polycrystalline solar panels. Like monocrystalline solar cells, polycrystalline solar cells are created from silicon crystals. The distinction is that the silicon crystal cools and breaks apart independently instead of being extruded as a pure ingot.
Thin Film Solar Cells
Unlike conventional systems, second-generation thin-film solar cells are incredibly light and flexible. They are made up of several thin photovoltaic layers. This thin-film solar cell is a device designed to convert light energy into electrical energy (through the photovoltaic effect) consisting of micron-thick layers of photon-absorbing material deposited on a flexible substrate.
Amorphous Silicon Solar Cell
Amorphous silicon solar cells are constructed differently than conventional solar cells. In these silicon solar cells, non-crystalline silicon is deposited on a glass, plastic, or metal substrate. An amorphous solar panel’s silicon layer can be as thin as one micrometre, comparable to human hair’s thickness.
Biohybrid Solar Cell
A solar cell that combines organic materials (photosystem I) and inorganic matter is called a biohybrid solar cell. This solar cell combines biological elements, such as proteins or enzymes, to improve light absorption and energy conversion with conventional semiconductor materials.
Cadmium Telluride Solar Cell
The active layers of a Cadmium Telluride solar cell are just a few microns thick, or approximately a tenth the diameter of a human hair, making it a thin-film technology. Transparent conducting oxide (TCO) layers, such as SnO2 or Cd2SnO4, are transparent to visible light and highly conductive, allowing for efficient current transfer. Intermediate layers like CdS aid in the development and electrical characteristics of the TCO and CdTe.
In conclusion, the world of solar cells is a dynamic and rapidly evolving field, offering a range of options to harness the sun’s power for clean and renewable energy. Each type of solar cell has advantages and limitations, making it suitable for different applications and environments. We hope this article helped you understand the different types of solar cell for your next solar panel purchase decision.