Friday, November 27, 2009

Cool Solar Information

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope that you are all able to have time to spend with the ones you love!
Here is some cool information that you may have not heard about.
Three key elements in a solar cell form the basis of their manufacturing technology. The first is the semiconductor, which absorbs light and converts it into electron-hole pairs. The second is the semiconductor junction, which separates the photo-generated carriers (electrons and holes), and the third is the contacts on the front and back of the cell that allow the current to flow to the external circuit. The two main categories of technology are defined by the choice of the semiconductor: either crystalline silicon in a wafer form or thin films of other materials.

Solar energy is dependent upon nuclear power. Solar Energy's nuclear power plant, though, is 93 million miles away.

An average crystalline silicon cell solar module has an efficiency of 15%, an average thin film cell solar module has an efficiency of 6%. Thin film manufacturing costs potentially are lower, though.

A Megawatt is 1,000,000 Watts; a Gigawatt is 1000 Megawatts.

The earth receives more energy from the sun in just one hour than the world uses in a whole year.

Two billion people in the world have no access to electricity. For most of them, solar photovoltaics would be their cheapest electricity source, but they cannot afford it.

Crystalline Silicon cell technology forms about 90% of solar cell demand. The balance comes from thin film technologies.

Approximately 45% of the cost of a silicon cell solar module is driven by the cost of the silicon wafer, a further 35% is driven by the materials required to assemble the solar module.

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