Silicon is an abundant natural semiconductor that has all the electric properties needed for solar panel manufacturing. Numerous countries around the world have silicon mines. However, for the purpose of cheaper PV panel manufacturing, silicon is typically purchased from the countries with the most affordable prices, such as China and India. Solar manufacturing companies build the panels and sell them to solar resellers and installers, who resell the panels to the end-buyers. The end-buyers can save a large chunk of money if they can bypass the resellers/installers, and purchase the panels directly from the manufacturers.
As we mentioned above, silicon is the most commonly used material in solar manufacturing, so let’s learn more about this semiconductor. Pure silicon was isolated back in 1811 by French scientists. Silicon is the second most abundant material in the Earth’s crust (after oxygen): around 28% of the Earth’s crust consists of silicon. In a human, silicon can be found in the muscle tissue, bone tissue, and blood.
Pure silicon is obtained by restoring the melt of Silica (silicon dioxide) at a temperature of about 1800 degrees Celsius in electric furnaces. Purified silicon can be used in PV manufacturing, as well as it can be used for the production of purer polycrystalline silicon. Solar cells and panels manufactured from different types of silicon have varying efficiency rates: amorphous silicon – 5-7%, polycrystalline silicon – 13-15%, monocrystalline silicon – 14-17%.
Photovoltaic energy systems are ideal for electric power production, as they don’t pollute the air in the process of converting sunlight to electricity. Semiconductor-based PV energy systems have been quite expensive to produce. Ever since 1954, when the first cells were invented, researchers, governments, and PV manufacturers started working on reducing the photovoltaic module manufacturing expenses. PV modules are in a constant demand, which was somewhat slowed down during the economic world crisis only to pick up again as the world economy started to improve.
Today, governments and the entire solar panel industry keep on working hand in hand on improving and expanding domestic photovoltaic manufacturing. This helps to reduce the costs of various solar products, as well as it helps to create yet more powerful products.
There are various governmental projects intended to reduce the costs involved in the manufacturing of PV modules. These projects aim at improving the manufacturing processes, reducing costs, improving the products’ performance, and increasing the capacity of PV plants. One of such projects helped to reduce the U.S. manufacturing cost by over 50% from 1992 to 1996. This was achieved by improved material processing, automated module assembly, waste reduction, and the use of more advanced PV materials.
Domestic PV manufacturing is constantly expanding and improving, enabling customers around the world to make their solar module purchases at a lower price. Photovoltaic products are one of the best ways to preserve a cleaner environment using affordable domestic energy solutions.
Post time: 05-31-2017