Solar PV Technologies
Different solar PV Technologies
The different technologies relate to how well aligned the actual atoms are inside the cell. They range through monocrystalline, multicrystalline, polycrystalline, or amorphous.
This is currently considered to be the most efficient of the photovoltaic (PV) technologies at around 15%. The process required to make monocrystalline silicon is complex, involving slicing a single cylindrical crystal of silicon into slices.
Sometimes called polycrystalline (a slightly different variant). Silicon is melted and cast into ingots, then sliced and made into cells.
These are cheaper than Monocrystalline but with a resultant drop in efficiency to around 12%.
Thin-film or Amorphous
Silicon atoms are laid onto a surface which enables very thin layers to be created. This type of technology can even be laid onto flexible surfaces. However, they are very ineffiecient - with typical efficiencies of around 6%.
Cells, Modules and Arrays
A small solar photovoltaic cell will only generate a very small amount of power. To get more energy, cells are joined together in series into modules, which are in turn connected into arrays.