How is electricity produced in a solar cell?


Solar cells are made of the semimetal silicon. Each cell has a positively and negatively charged layer of this semiconductor material. When sunlight hits the cell, voltage is generated between the layers — a DC current like that in a battery. With the aid of an inverter, also called a solar inverter, the DC current is transformed into AC current, which is also the current used within the local grid.

Making high-quality monocrystalline wafers ordinarily involves heating silicon to over 1,400 ° C (higher than its melting point) and then dipping a seed crystal into the melt. An ingot, from which the wafers will be cut, is formed by gradually pulling the seed up as the silicon crystallizes around it. This happens over the course of one to two days, during which time the pool of silicon must be kept hot—which takes a lot of energy. Both the energy consumption and the slow rate of production make the process expensive.

There are only a handful of companies who manufacture Solar Cells; being the main raw material of Solar PV Panels. During the manufacturing of Solar Cells, various problems such as peeling, overflow, colour distortion etc can affect the quality of the cells. Depending on what is wrong with them, they will be classified from A to C. The lower the grade, the cheaper and less efficient the Solar Cells are. Using High Quality A grade cells makes the Solar Panels both more efficient and a higher quality than panels manufactured with Grade B or C cells.