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Monocrystalline Solar Cells | What are they?

Theresa 0 Ratings 0 Discussions 0 Group posts

Posted by: Theresa // Renewables Lover

Silicon:

When constructing new monocrystalline solar cells, companies choose to build the individual photovoltaic cells out of a common element known as silicon, found in large quantities in the earth crust in its mineral form of silicon dioxide or sand.

Refined Silicon:

This mineral is also used in the computer chip industry and the refined mineral is highly valued around the world. When produced from silicon dioxide the temperature needed to get it to the acceptable level of purity of above 99.9% requires a furnace at the temperature of above 1,900 °C (3,450 °F).

Mono-Crystalline Silicon:

When reaching this level of purity the silicon can then be used to grow silicon crystals that have a photoelectric effect capable of producing electricity. Monocrystalline solar cells are grown as individual crystals during this process and therefore they get the name “mono”. Monocrystalline cells tend to be more efficient than polycrystalline cells and also have, unique advantages when exposed to low-light conditions. They also cost more due to the hi-tech production methods.

Monocrystalline solar cell, Composites:

To get the juice flowing from the monocrystalline solar cells, manufactures add other metals to the silicon so that it will transport the current to where it is needed. Commonly minerals like boron and phosphorous are often used, added in the right mix, the solar cells are capable of producing a electric current and transport it to where it is needed.

Reply
Allison Friedman Weston, MA, united-states 0 Ratings 284 Discussions 84 Group posts

Allison Friedman // Rate It Green Admin

Thanks for this introduction. I have been wondering what we can do to limit the environmental impacts of solar panels. Of course it's more sustainable to produce energy through solar panels than to burn fossil fuels, but what can we do to reduce the materials, chemicals, water and energy consumed in the production and use of solar panels? What can we do to make sure they are also as durable as possible, and to reduce any end of life impacts?

 

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