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Solar Cells

Solar Cells Breakdown: Mono-Crystalline Vs Poly-Crystalline Solar Cells

There are two common types of crystalline solar cells. Crystalline solar cells are the most efficient types of solar cells, and the two types are:

Poly-Crystalline Solar Cells
Typically, poly-crystalline solar cells are a little less efficient than mono-crystalline cells, but also have lower manufacturing and purchasing costs. Poly-crystalline solar cells are made from a number of silicon crystals melted down into a large sheet and then cut into individual wafers.

Mono-Crystalline Solar Cells
Mono-crystalline solar cells are the most efficient type of solar cells on the market and are used in today’s top-end solar panels and products. Each mono-crystalline cells is made from a single silicon crystal and has a higher cost to manufacture and purchase compared to all other types of solar cells, including poly-crystalline solar cells.

Solar Cells Information Guide

How Solar Cells Work: The Science Of Solar Cells

A solar cell is a single unit that can convert sunlight into electricity. Multiple solar cells connected in parallel and/or series form a solar module. Multiple solar modules connected in parallel and/or series form a solar array. Solar panel is the general term referring to any unit that converts sunlight into electricity.For an overview of how solar cells convert sunlight into electricity, visit the solar panel technologies.

Photovoltaic (PV or solar) cells are made of semiconducting material which directly convert sunlight into electricity. The simplest system of photovoltaic cells power small devices such as watches and calculators. More complex systems can light houses and provide power to the electrical grid.

Manufacturing commercial solar cells require doped silicon with very few impurities. One way to produce silicon that can be used for solar cells through the Czochralski process. The goal is to create a large, single crystal of doped silicon that can later be cut down to the appropriate size for solar cells. If you are not familiar with what doping is and how solar cells work, visit the solar panel technologies page for more information.

The Czochralski process requires melting high grade silicon in a crucible. Once this is done, a dopant material can be added to the heated mixture. The dopant added determines whether the silicon crystal will be n-type or p-type. A thin rod with a seed crystal on the end is used to extract a much larger crystal from the melted silicon. A seed crystal is a crystal made of the same type of material as that of the larger crystal you wish to create. The seed crystal provides an infrastructure on which the melted silicon builds upon. The thin rod is inserted into the melted mixture and removed slowly while being rotated. This process creates cylindrical silicon that can be anywhere from 1 to 2 meters in length.

The purpose of educational solar kits is to provide a hands-on activity that can demonstrate the power of solar energy. The power of solar energy and the solar cells that utilize it resides in the scalability of solar cells. The larger the solar panel, the larger the amount of energy that can be converted into a usable form. No system need go without power with a large enough solar array.

The educational solar kits require little power, however. They are small devices that would typically run on one or two AA batteries, but are instead powered by a solar panel. The benefit of using a solar panel instead of AA batteries is clear. Once the educational solar kits are assembled, they will never need a power supply because the solar panel will be able to provide the power needed by converting sunlight into electricity.

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Bainbridge, NY Office
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Silicon Solar
2917 State Hwy 7
Bainbridge, NY 13733
P: 1.800.786.0329
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Silicon Solar
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San Diego, CA 92107
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