Photovoltaic Past, Preset and Future

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Category: Science and Technology

Date Submitted: 11/14/2011 07:07 AM

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One of the essential responsibilities assigned to modern technology and science is the advancement of clean energy sources as a substitute to fossil fuels. In fact, in the Nation’s most recent Presidential election, renewable energy and the mode to provide renewable energy was an important subject. There are a range of renewable energy projects in progress including but not limited to the following; biomass, geothermal, and wind energy, but the one that has the most potential is photovoltaic cells. The high costs of solar-cell units versus the efficiency of the units have place a sizeable hurdle to the development of an extensive power source application of photovoltaic systems. However, photovoltaic cells are still very uncharted technology, and because of its high potential, a lot of time and money has gone into exploring this issue/business. This paper will evaluate the history, present status, and future trends of photovoltaic materials, processes and technologies.

Monocrystalline, Multicrystalline and Ribbon Silicon

Originally developed in 1954, mono & multicrystalline silicon still play a dominating role in the solar power industry. The fact that silicon is the second most abundant element on Earth; along with the parallel development of a large semi-conductor industry has certainly played a large role in fueling the growth of the crystal silicone industry. The growth of crystal silicone into the industry leader has occurred, despite the fact that for silicone to be useful as a semiconductor, it must be refined to a purity of 99.9999%!

Monocrystalline crystal silicone has a uniform molecular structure. This uniform structure is created because the crystal is grown from one single seed crystal. While the uniformity of monocrystalline may be ideal for the transfer of electrons, in order for the crystal to be useful as part of a photovoltaic cell, it become necessary to artificially dope the material in order to create the necessary p-n...