Inorganic photovoltaic solar cells: Silicon and beyond

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Abstract

The market of Wafer-Si solar cells, also called first-generation Inorganic Photovoltaic solar cells, is studied. A study has found that the present solar cell industry is dominated by Si with nearly 90% of the market. The solar industry has relied on two approaches to reduce the cost, which include production scale-up and process improvement. Quartz is favored over sand in Si wafer production for its high purity, and it can be reduced to Si in an electric-arc furnace with charcoal at approximately 1,900°C. The solar industry has developed some solar-specific materials, processes, and equipment to reduce the cost and energy input of solar cells. It is also found that if the cost and energy input of wafer-Si cells can be significantly reduced, Si may remain as the dominant solar cell material for the foreseeable future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalElectrochemical Society Interface
Volume17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry

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