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PV cells - how are they made

Discussion in 'Photovoltaics' started by Kate, Jun 12, 2004.

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  1. Kate

    Kate Guest

    (and could I make them mself?)

    I've looked on the web, and the recipe for making PV cells seems to be a
    closely guarded secret.

    I'm interested in them, am also a bit of an inventor and want to "have a go"
    Any clues, books or web references would be great
     
  2. It's not really that much of a secret but to build a typical PV
    cell requires equipment far beyond the reach of ordinary citizens.
    You could try web searches.

    You might do better working on solar thermal generators such as the
    organic rankine engines. These technologies are well within the
    price and capabilities of individuals.

    Anthony
     
  3. Check out www.uspto.gov. Just search the patents for solar cells.
     
  4. H. E. Taylor

    H. E. Taylor Guest

    You may find the PV FAQ of some use, specifically question 7E.
    7E) Can I make PV cells, modules myself?
    http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~het/energy/pv_faq.html#Q07

    For the question in your other thread, see questions 3I, 3J.
    3I) What are Concentrators?
    3J) J.What are the issues in using Concentrators?
    http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~het/energy/pv_faq.html#Q03

    <fwiw>
    -het


    --
    "The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for
    our wits to grow sharper." -Eden Phillpotts

    Energy Alternatives: http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~het/energy/energy.html
    H.E. Taylor http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~het/
     
  5. puggy

    puggy Guest

    Generally there made from semiconductor's with dopants. For example an n
    doped layer of silicon has a layer of p doped silicon added on top. This
    creates a band gap differrence which photons (ie light) excite the electrons
    into a higher band gap and create electical energy.

    Now the energy created is only the bandgap, so a photon with 2eV of energy
    hitting a bandgap of 1eV would mean you would lose 1eV of energy to waste.
    Also the crystallinity is a factor, the more single crystal the more
    efficient. You can also add several layers of differrently doped layer's to
    increase the number of bandgaps.

    There are some newer types using nanoparticles in the 1-6nm range (more
    commonly know as quantum dots) which are expected to produce more efficient
    solar cells, i am actually in the process of setting up a business in which
    we will use these nanoparticles to create panels which are far cheaper than
    current panels, with efficencies expected in the 25-30% initially. There are
    other's using specialied plastics and nanotubes to create solar panels which
    have a lot of promise so expect to see a big jump in solar panel sales in
    the next 5 years.
     
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