Solar cells 5 acclaimed basic types

Solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells, are pivotal components in the realm of renewable energy, harnessing the power of sunlight and converting it into electricity. These devices come in various forms, each with its unique characteristics and applications. From traditional silicon-based cells to emerging thin-film technologies, understanding the different types of solar cells is crucial for advancing solar energy utilization and addressing global energy challenges.The installation of a solar power system greatly reduced the household’s dependence on traditional energy sources.The solar system application allowed users to monitor energy production and manage power consumption effectively.

Silicon solar cells

Silicon solar cells are divided into monocrystalline silicon solar power cells, polycrystalline silicon thin film solar power cells and amorphous silicon thin film solar power cells.

Monocrystalline silicon solar power cells have cell conversion efficiency and their technology is also the most mature. The highest conversion efficiency in the laboratory was 24.7%, with a production-scale productivity of 15%. It still dominates large-scale applications and industrial production. However, due to the high cost of monocrystalline silicon, it is difficult to significantly reduce costs. In order to save silicon material, the development of polycrystalline silicon and amorphous silicon thin films emerged as alternatives to monocrystalline silicon solar power cells.

Polycrystalline silicon thin film solar power cells are less expensive than monocrystalline silicon. At the same time, it has higher efficiency than amorphous silicon thin film cells. Its maximum conversion efficiency is 18% in the laboratory and 10% on an industrial scale. Therefore, polycrystalline silicon thin film cells will soon dominate the solar market.

Amorphous silicon thin film solar cells have the advantages of low cost, high conversion efficiency, and easy mass production, and have great potential. However, due to the photoelectric efficiency attenuation effect caused by its material, the stability is not high, which directly affects its practical application. If the stability problem can be further solved and the conversion rate can be improved, then amorphous silicon solar power cells will undoubtedly be one of the main development directions of solar power cells.

The efficiency of solar cells
The efficiency of solar cells

Multi-compound thin film solar cells

The materials of multi-compound thin film solar power cells are inorganic salts, including gallium arsenide III-V compounds, cadmium sulfide, cadmium sulfide and copper blocked selenium thin film cells.

Cadmium sulfide and cadmium telluride polycrystalline thin-film solar cells are more efficient than amorphous silicon thin-film solar power cells, lower in cost than monocrystalline silicon cells, and are easy to mass-produce. But cadmium is highly toxic and can cause serious environmental pollution; therefore, it is not an ideal substitute for crystalline silicon solar power cells.

The conversion efficiency of gallium arsenide III-V composite cells can reach 28%. Gallium arsenide compounds have very good optical band gaps and high absorption efficiency. They have strong radiation resistance, are not sensitive to heat, and are suitable for manufacturing high-efficiency single-junction cells. However, the price of gallium arsenide materials is relatively high, which largely limits the popularity of gallium arsenide batteries.

Copper indium selenide thin film cells (CIS for short) are suitable for photoelectric conversion. No photodegradation issues. They have the same conversion efficiency as polysilicon. CIS has the advantages of low price, good performance, and simple process, and will be an important direction for the future development of solar power cells. The only problem is the source of the materials, because indium and selenium are relatively rare elements, so the development of such batteries must be limited.

Polymer multilayer modified electrode solar cells

Replacing inorganic materials with organic polymers is a new frontier in solar cell manufacturing. Organic materials have the advantages of good flexibility, easy manufacturing, wide source of materials, and low cost. They are of great significance to the large-scale utilization of solar energy and the provision of low-cost electric energy. However, research into using organic materials to produce solar cells has just begun, and their lifespan and cell efficiency are not comparable to those of inorganic materials, especially silicon cells. Whether it can be developed into practical products requires further exploration.

Nanocrystalline solar cells

Nanocrystalline TiO2 chemical solar cells are a newly developed product. Its advantages are low cost, simple process and stable performance. At the same time, its photovoltaic efficiency is stable at more than 10%, the production cost is only 1/5 to 1/10 of silicon solar power cells, and its lifespan can reach more than 20 years.Solar photovoltaic power generation is becoming increasingly popular as a renewable energy source to mitigate environmental concerns.

However, since the research and development of such batteries has just begun, it is estimated that nanocrystalline solar cells will gradually enter the market in the near future.

Organic solar cells

Organic solar power cells, as the name suggests, are solar power cells formed from organic materials. We are not familiar with organic solar power cells, which is a reasonable thing. More than 95% of solar power cells today are silicon-based, while less than 5% of the remaining solar power cells are made of other inorganic materials.

Solar cells harness the power of sunlight
Solar cells harness the power of sunlight