In the field of photovoltaics, there are now several types of manufacturing technologies. Silicon is one of the best known solutions. We also note the thin-film technique and concentrated photovoltaics. Each of these photovoltaic manufacturing methods has its advantages and disadvantages.
Silicon photovoltaic cells incorporate a semiconductor material, silicon. The latter has several advantages. First, it comes from an abundant natural resource, quartz. As a result, the risk of raw material exhaustion is controlled. The other advantage of silicon cells is their adaptation to any size of photovoltaic solar panels. In addition, for some years now, specialists have been well versed in the technologies used. All these reasons explain the market share of silicon at the international level. However, silicon photovoltaic panels have their limitations. They do not produce enough energy until after 12 to 30 months of operation.
Given the losses collected with the use of silicon for photovoltaic production, researchers have developed another manufacturing approach. This is the thin-film technique. These have an average thickness of 2 microns. They are placed on a flexible support. If they are stacked on top of each other, the quality of thin films is increasingly optimized. There are two categories of thin films. The first class uses cadmium tellurium. Compared to silicon, the latter is more expensive because it is less expensive. However, it is not very abundant. In addition, this element emits toxic effects that promote the greenhouse effect. The second category consists of alloying copper with selenium and indium. These two families both allow better absorption of light.
The organic photovoltaic sector
Among the photovoltaic technologies, there is also the organic photovoltaic sector. With this technique, researchers use organic polymers. These are plastics from renewable resources such as plants or animal resources. With the fact that these organic elements allow a better absorption of light, they can be transformed into thin layers of very thin thickness. As with the previous technique, these components are to be placed on flexible supports. This technique has two advantages. The first is the optimization of cell yield. The second is the extension of the life of photovoltaics. These can operate for up to 1,000 hours.