When Will Commercial Solar Panels Not Be Made From Crsytaline Silicon?

   

Today’s Commercial Solar Panels.

Almost all of commercially installed solar panels around the world are made from crystaline silicon. This material is then “doped” with various combination of rare earth metals. However the majority of the composition of solar cells is silicon.

The challenge with this is that while silicon ( sand) is one the most common materials found in nature, rare earth metals are not. Silicon tends to be heavy which makes locating them and supporting them more difficult that if they were made of light material.

MIT lecture on wafer based solar pv

MIT lecture on wafer based solar pv

In this lecture, from the MIT course ,2.627 Fundamentals of Photovoltaics, instructor Tonio Buonassisi dives into the nature of silicon based solar panels.

silicon wafer based solar pv technology state of the art

silicon wafer based solar pv technology state of the art

What Will Tomorrow’s Commercial Solar Panels Look Like?

I agree with the lecturer in that this course is a must to ensure that you understand the basics of silicon solar technology if you are to be working in the field.It is also important if your are an up and coming solar researchers to understand these basics as you strive to replace it with something better.

The lecture was given in the fall of 2011 but is immortalized in a video record forever.

 

View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/2-627F11