What Is Solar Cell?

What Is Solar Cell?

A solar cell is a semiconductor invention that is created to act as a device for directly converting light energy into electrical energy. Solar cells are typically made from semiconductors such as smelting silicon, quartz, which is the cheapest and most abundant mineral on the planet.

Currently, solar cells that are commonly used in Thailand are divided into 3 types :
1. Mono Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell
2. Poly Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell
3. Thin Film Solar Cell

1. Mono Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell
    It is a solar cell made from a Mono Crystalline Silicon. Silicon has a thickness of about 150-200 microns. It has an efficiency of converting solar energy into electricity about 15-17%, but has a high price. It is easier to notice than other types, as each cell looks like a rectangle cut at four corners and have a dark color.
Pros :
   - Having highest efficiency because it is made from the best grade silicon with an average efficiency of 15-20%.
   - Having highest space efficiency because it provides high power and requires minimal space for solar panel installation.
   - Having the longest lifespan, on average, about 25 years or more
Cons :
   - Having the high price
   - The circuit or Inverter may burn out, if it is dirty or if there are some parts of the panels get shaded. It will cause the volts to be too high.
2. Poly Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell
    It is the most commonly used solar cells today.They are made from a Poly Crystalline Silicon with thickness of 150-200 microns. It has an efficiency of converting solar energy into electrical energy of about 12-15 percent, but has a moderate price. You can notice that each cell is a square with no cut corners. The color of the panel is blue.
Pros :
   - The production process is simple and easy. Using less silicon in the production, when compared with the Mono Crystalline type.
   - It has slightly better high temperature performance than Mono Crystalline type.
   - It is cheaper compared to the Mono Crystalline type.
Cons :
   - The average efficiency is 13-16%, which is lower than that of the Mono Crystalline type.
3. Thin Film Solar Cell
    Thin film solar cells of only 0.5–1.0 micron is thin and light. It has an efficiency of converting 6-8% solar energy into electrical energy. It is cheap.
Pros :
   - It is cheaper than the Poly Crystalline type.
   - It has little impact in very hot weather.
   - No problem of circuit burns when the panel is dirty.
Cons :
   - Low efficiency
   - Consumes the cost of structures and other equipment such as wires
   - Not suitable for use on the roof of the house because of limited space.
   - The warranty is shorter than the Poly Crystalline type.

Source : Ministry of Energy