Solar Cell Modules Raw Materials
The first key ingredient needed to make a solar cell is pure silicon. However, silicon is not pure in its natural state. It comes from quartz sand in furnaces that require very high temperatures. Natural beach sand is the main ingredient in making pure silicon. Although it is an abundant resource in the world, the process of obtaining pure silicon comes at a cost and requires a lot of energy.
Solar Panel Manufacturing Process
The first process in solar panel manufacturing is the purification of silicon from quartz sand. Once silicon is purified, it is collected into solid rock. These rocks are then melted together to form cylindrical ingots. Use steel and cylindrical furnaces to obtain the desired shape. During fabrication, great attention is paid to getting all the atoms aligned in the desired orientation and configuration.
To make the silicon positively polarized, boron is added to the process. To create monocrystalline cells, manufacturers use only one silicon crystal. As a result, this solar panel has high efficiency. However, they cost more.
For polycrystalline cells, manufacturers melt together multiple silicon crystals. The panels have the appearance of broken glass derived from various silicon crystals. Once the formed ingot cools, it is trimmed and polished to leave flat sides.
The next step in solar panel manufacturing is after ingot casting. To make wafers, the cylindrical ingot is sliced into thin slices. It is done one at a time using a column saw. Manufacturers can also use a multi-wire saw to cut multiple pieces at once.
Thin silicon is shiny and reflects light. The disk is coated with a thin anti-reflective coating, which reduces sunlight loss. Anti-reflective coatings are usually made of titanium dioxide and silicon oxide, but other materials can also be used.
This coating material can be heated until the molecules boil, or it can be splashed. During the sputtering process, manufacturers use high pressure to understand the molecules of the material and deposit them on the silicon.
The wafer can be further polished to remove saw marks. However, some manufacturers choose to skip these steps because saw marks help improve efficiency.
manufacture solar cells
Manufacturers follow several steps to convert silicon wafers into usable solar cells. They process each wafer and add metal conductors to the surface. The added conductors create a grid-like matrix appearance on the surface. They ensure the conversion of sunlight into electricity.
Coatings on silicon wafers reduce sunlight reflection and ensure sunlight absorption, thereby increasing yield. In an oven-like chamber, the manufacturer's phosphorus is spread in a thin layer on the wafer surface. Phosphorus orients the wafer negatively.