Monday, September 26, 2022

What Are Solar Cell Materials

Let’s answer this question “what are solar cell materials.” In this article, I will explain what solar cell materials mean, how it works, what it does, and their benefits.

Likewise, as solar energy production increases worldwide, there is an increasing demand for higher effectiveness at a cheaper rate.

However, solar cells are made up of several things, all of which work to absorb the sunlight and convert it into electricity. T is then is when it can become an added advantage for users.

To ease your reading, I will begin with an overview of solar cells and explain what solar cell materials are. Then, I will distinguish between solar energy and wind energy.

Next, I will explain how solar cells produce electricity in the “How It Works” section.

Furthermore, I will explain the types of solar cells and their materials. The following section after this will contain the factors to consider when buying a solar panel.

In the subsequent sections, I will state the pros and cons of solar panels.

In conclusion, I will provide answers to some frequently asked questions on solar panel materials.

Hence, let’s look into this article to get and understand every detail. So, read on! and enjoy your reading.

What Are Solar Cell Materials: Overview

What Are Solar Cell Materials: Overview

Before explaining what solar cell materials are, let’s first understand the term “Solar cell.”

A solar cell is an electrical device that can convert sunlight directly into electricity. However, you can also refer to a solar cell as a photovoltaic cell that generates electricity from sunlight.

Similarly, the photovoltaic cell is well arranged electrically and adequately organized into a wide frame called a solar panel.

Also, compared to the cells in a battery, the solar cell is set up to produce electricity.

However, where battery cells generate electricity from chemicals, the solar cell produces power through sunlight. Therefore, every cell has a few volts of electricity.

Hence, it converts the energy of sunlight directly into electricity by a photovoltaic effect, which is why they are described as photovoltaic.

Amazingly, unlike electric generators, which require fuel to generate electric power. Solar cells do not need fuel to generate electricity.

It can function without any other thing apart from sunlight.

Simply put, solar cell materials are the things that comprise the solar panel. Solar cells can be grouped into arrays.

Hence, these arrays comprise thousands of single cells that can directly function as electric power stations and convert sunlight to electrical energy.

Likewise, solar cells are useful in manufacturing different products, such as calculators(handheld), electronic appliances, etc.

When sunlight shines on a solar cell, its energy powers your devices and blows electrons out of the silicon.

Solar Energy Vs. Wind Energy

What Are Solar Cell Materials: Solar Energy Vs Wind Energy

Consequently, both wind and solar energy are two fast-producing sources of energy.

Moreover, both energy sources help cut down pollution and provide alternatives to fossil fuels, although there are several differences.

Hence, wind energy refers to the movement of air and is useful in producing electricity. Thus, unlike solar energy, wind energy requires more maintenance.

Likewise, the turbines that power wind energy are less harmful to the environment than solar panels.

However, they produce more electricity than solar panels, and you can fix them easily.

On the other hand, unlike solar energy, wind energy is useful both during the day and at night. Moreover, the wind is somewhat not a reliable energy source as solar energy.

Turbines are also quite noisy and, like solar panels, require a lot of land space and thus don’t make sense for densely populated areas.

In addition, one of the amazing things about them is that wind energy is available throughout the day while solar energy is available during the day for peculiar reasons.

Overall, solar panels are the most powerful and predictable source of energy. This is because they require less space and noise and can be on rooftops.

What Are Solar Cell Materials: How It Works

What Are Solar Cell Materials: How It Works

A solar cell produces electricity through sunlight to make everything light up and easier.
Hence, it comprises a different smaller unit to help it to function.

As a result, solar cell materials do not require any fuel, nor does it require any chemical reactions.

This is unlike gas generators and others that majorly require fuel. This is to show that there is a uniqueness peculiar to it.

Likewise, the electrons use the energy to cut across the barrier into the upper side and escape into the circuit.

In addition, energy is all across the layers of the cell as photocontrol, which can light up by flowing around the circuit.

Lastly, different things make up the solar cell in each panel.


Below are the primary materials that make up the photovoltaic cells. These include:

Monocrystalline Solar Cells

Monocrystalline solar cells are all made from single crystalline silicon. As a result, they have a different special look.

This is because they are mostly color and their cells tend to have a cylindrical shape.

However, you have to cover and seal solar cells for protection. Also, silicon rubber is the primary thing you can use to seal it up.

Hence, they can reduce the costs and performance at different levels. As a result, manufacturers tend to cut out the four sides of the monocrystalline solar cells.

Similarly, they need less space, unlike other materials, due to their effectiveness and performance, ideally in low levels of sunlight.

This enhances it to be perfect for a cloudy environment.

Furthermore, this enhances their recognizable appearance. However, it is also quite a wasteful process.

This is because the cells have to be cut into shapes, which can be wasteful.

In addition, the cells absorb energy through a process to generate an electric field. This electric field includes current and voltage.

Lastly, they tend to have the highest levels of effectiveness and are considered the highest quality of the three major types of material.

Polycrystalline Solar Cells

Polycrystalline solar cells were first introduced in 1981. Also, polycrystalline solar cells do not require cutting each of their four sides, which reduces waste.

However, you would melt and pour the silicon into square molds instead of cutting. Hence, this results in perfectly shaped square cells.

These solar cells are made from several silicon particles, giving the electrons relatively less space to flow.

Moreover, the polycrystalline solar panel is considered the mid-range panel in terms of price and effectiveness of the three primary materials used.

Likewise, it has a low tolerance for heat and comes with a structure that makes it simpler and cheaper to purchase.

Furthermore, they are used in several devices such as remote areas, traffic lights, street lights,off-grid households, and devices.

In addition, there is less wastage and less space that needs large surface locations, and it will continue to demand space.

Overall, it can use both small-scale and large-scale installations as they come in a different range of power wattages.

Thin Film Solar Cells

Thin-film solar cells are cheaper than any other type of solar cell. They can be produced by placing several thin layers of photovoltaic on top of each other to create the module.

However, it can be flexible, allowing it to open several applications, and requires a large space for a mode of operation.

Likewise, high temperature has little effect and tends to degrade faster than other solar cells.

On the other hand, there are varieties of thin-film photovoltaic cells, and how they differ is determined by the material utilized for the PV layers.

In addition, thin-film solar provides ways to generate electricity from sunlight. Hence you can apply it in different places such as street lights, traffic, etc.

Therefore, according to the several types of photovoltaic use, there are four categories of thin-film solar cells.

The types are as follows:

Lastly, thin-film solar cells are still the cheapest option for solar panels but are also the least efficient.

However, thin-film solar cells are easily handled and available as thin wafer sheets.

What Are Solar Cell Materials: Features/Factors To Consider

What Are Solar Cell Materials: Features/Factors To Consider

Factors To Consider

Before you purchase a solar panel, these are some of the points you need to note:

  • The durability of the solar panel.
  • Another point to note is the size of the solar panel.
  • Also, you need to consider the periodic maintenance it requires.
  • Even so, you need to check your roof compatibility to know if a standard or flexible solar will fit on it.
  • Finally, check the capacity of the solar panel.

What Are Solar Cell Materials: Pros And Cons

What Are Solar Cell Materials: Pros And Cons

Solar energy technology is becoming an ever increasingly price-competitive alternative to fossil fuels, though it remains expensive in specific markets.

However, the following are its pros and cons.


Reduces Electricity Cost

The rate you pay for electricity will reduce because the solar system will supply most of your energy needs.

However, the amount you save on your bill will be determined by how you need electricity, how you use electricity, and the size of your solar system.

Likewise, it gives you more access and surplus benefits because a large solar system can cover your electricity bills.

Energy Independence

Similarly, since the sun shines across the globe, it makes every country a source of energy producer. Thus it allows greater energy independence and security.

However, solar energy doesn’t only promise to bring security and independence at different levels.

Solar panels can be installed in individual homes, providing power that does not depend on being the power to a larger electrical grid.

Likewise, solar energy can generate electricity in locations without access to the energy grid. In addition, it can distill water in places with a low clean water supply.

Reduce Maintenance Cost

One of the things you enjoy when using a solar system is that it doesn’t need plenty of maintenance. It only requires you to keep it clean.

That means that cleaning them once in a while will be enough.

However, you don’t have to bother about moving the parts. This is because they are not moving parts.

All you have to do is to change the inverter.

In addition, the inverter is mostly the only part that requires a replacement after five to ten years because it works continuously to convert solar energy into electricity.

Low Environmental Impact

Solar energy has a significantly less impact on the environment than fossil fuels.

Moreover, its greenhouse gas emissions are inconsequential as the technology requires no fuel combustion.

Furthermore, while you have to make an initial investment in the system, solar power is natural, accessible, and available in abundance for a long time.

Therefore, you end up saving in electricity costs once you start using the energy generated by solar cells.


Solar cells have a longer life, about thirty or more years, and can operate and perform well even in cloudy weather conditions.

However, the advantage of solar energy is that it is a sustainable option for fossil fuels.

Hence, while fossil fuels have an expiration date approaching early, the sun is likely to be around for at least a few billion years.

Moreover, it does not need fuels or water to generate electricity.

Infinite Energy

There are so many benefits to it. First, it gives you the privilege of infinite energy because sunlight shines all over the world.

Hence, it makes every country an energy producer and allows great energy usage and freedom.

However, this is a source that can never wear out. So it brings unlimited chances for you to get undisturbed electricity.

Lastly, it can be fixed for homes as much as its power does not depend solely on being connected to a larger electrical grid.

Free Raw Materials

Another advantage is that you don’t have to pay for raw materials.

PV cells depend on solar energy to produce electricity, freely available in abundance around you.

As a result, you will need to make an initial investment in the system; nonetheless, solar energy is natural, free, and abundant for a long period.

Likewise, you will have the opportunity to end up saving on electricity costs once you start using the energy generated by solar cells.


Weather Dependent

Likewise, solar energy can function on cloudy and rainy days, and the solar system’s effectiveness drops gradually.

Hence, it depends solely on sunlight to gather more solar power. Although, when it is rainy or cloudy, it will have a noticeable effect on the solar system.

Moreover, it is essential to note that solar energy cannot be gathered at night. You can only gather it during the day.

In addition, compared to other types of renewable energy, solar power is highly important.

Also, investing in a solar system is an excellent and profitable choice because it can store the energy produced during the day and make it available on rainy and cloudy days.

Land Use

One of the many disadvantages is that solar energy may take up a significant amount of land and cause land degradation.

Similarly, the more electricity you want to produce, the more solar panels you need, and all of these have adequate access to sunlight.

Likewise, it requires a large location to deploy solar cells and off-grid requests to store energy. It so involves expensive spending for installation.

Moreover, devices that run on direct current (DC) are always more expensive.

Scarcity Of Materials

Depending on solar technologies require rare materials in their production. However, this is usually primarily a problem for PV rather than CSP technology.

Moreover, it is not so much a lack of known reserves as current production cannot meet future demand.

This is because many of these rare materials tend to be the byproducts of other processes instead of being the focus of targeted mining efforts.

Recycling PV material and developments in nanotechnology that have been able to enhance solar-cell efficiency could also help boost supply.

However, discovering material substitutes that exist in greater abundance could play a role.

What Are Solar Cell Materials: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the materials used to make solar panels?

Crystalline silicon.
Amorphous silicon.
Gallium arsenide.
Soluble platinum.

2. What raw materials are needed for solar cells?

These materials include; silicon dioxide of either crushed quartz or quartzite gravel.

3. What is the most common material used in solar cells, and why?

Silicon is the most used material because of its crystalline structure.

4. Where do the raw materials for solar panels come from?

Solar panel raw materials are derived from quartz sand.

5. What are the 3 types of solar panels?

The 3 main types of solar panels are:
Monocrystalline solar panel.
Polycrystalline solar panel.
Thin-film solar panel.

6. What is the most efficient solar cell?

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient, with an efficiency of over 20%.

7. Do solar panels use copper?

They are essential in powering solar PV systems.

8. What are the 4 main types of solar energy?

1. Solar photovoltaic plants.
2. Solar water heating systems.
3. Concentrated solar power.
4. Technical passive solar heating.

9. What does PV stand for in solar?

PV stands for photovoltaic.

10. Do solar panels work at night?

No. Solar panels can not function at night. However, they can still work on cloudy days.

What Are Solar Cell Materials: My Final Thoughts

What Are Solar Cell Materials: My Final Thoughts

This brings us to the conclusion of all the essential things you need to know about solar cell materials. All these materials make the solar panel work accurately and function well.

Hence, the solar system may not function perfectly without solar cell materials, which will not allow you to enjoy using the system.

However, solar cells consist of several things, all of which work to absorb sunlight and generate it into electricity.

In addition, it does not require fuel to generate electricity because it can function without anything apart from sunlight.

Lastly, all the materials found in solar makes up the solar cell in each panel.

I hope you found this article helpful. Then kindly fill out the “Leave A Reply” form to share your thoughts.

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Goodness Fanibi
Goodness Fanibi
Goodness Fanibi is a graduate of English and Literary Studies from Ekiti State University. She works with She is an easy-going lady who loves to add more knowledge to her skills, write, cook and read.


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