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'[EE]:: QV Solar PV efficiencies by year for variou'
2010\12\21@072243 by RussellMc

face picon face
Solar / Photo voltaic prices still falling "nicely".

Rough guide for Asian manufacture for finished PV wafers  is
significantly under $US1/Watt.
FOB factory whole panel prices under $2/Watt. (Some US internet
sellers are managing panels at under $2 Watt in some capacities)

Here where the various technologies are going.

        3600 x 2400 3 MB chart of Solar photovoltaic conversion
efficiencies by year for various technologies.

                        (can't spell :-) )

Monocrystalline  silicon ~ 25%

Polycrystalline silicon ~ 20%

You can buy 17% material "off the shelf"

eg US company Evergreen solar is producing very thin (300 micron)
"string wafer" material at about 17% efficiency. This thin and very
fragile material provides new panel manufacturing challenges but helps
drive price down. Where other than industry standard Glass / EVA / Si
/ EVA /Tedlar laminate + Al frame is used care may need to be taken
that the process can support the new thinner material without
increased process losses or longer term reliability issues.[An issue
of more interest to some people than others :-) ].

Tabbed "ready to use " 6" Si wafer costs in USA in retail volumes now
under $1/Watt (!!!!)
(4+ Watt wafer, 17% $2.95/1) (They like you to buy in 28's)

Just rechecked.
eg 4+W wafer $US2.10 on sale !!!!
$US0.50/Wp effectively USA retail.
I've added their "blurb" for this cell at the end.
Note the thickness - 190 um. Enjoy :-)
(There ARE DIY methods that allow these cells to be used, but methods
which worked on the last generation cells give lower yields with thin
cells due to extreme fragility.

Si amorphous is looking very unattractive except for very niche low
cost applications.

Various thin films still keeping Si honest - but non Silicon lifetimes
need to be watched carefully.

Properly manufactured Si-under-glass laminate manages 20+ year
lifetimes with ease. 25 often. 30+ not unusual.
(I have a 30+ year old 50 Watt panel which still runs OK at reduced capacity).

There are manufacturing short cuts which may lead to substantial
reductions in lifetime.
A  major lifetime factor is UV degradation of the EVA sealant/adhesive
which forms a clear film between Si and glass. Once the EVa starts to
lose integrity output drops and mechanical failure will follow. All
EVAs are not created equal. Competent manufacturers pay more for EVA
from certain known sources. I've seen EVA sold on Alibaba with note
"China use only". Do you know which EVA your supplier is using?
Backsheet is typically Tedlar but many people are spending substantial
effort looking at replacements. There are reasons apart from cost.


Concentrator monocrystalline silicon 28% (DTTAH)(100+ X concentration).

3 junction no holds barred GaAs (satellite*) > 42%
* - ends of spectrum used not available in-atmosphere.

Amorphous Si 12%

CuInGeSe2 ~ 20% !!!!

CdTe 16.7%

           Russell McMahon

Solar Cell polycrystalline 6x6 (156mm x 156mm) tabbed .5-.6 Volts, 8
Amps, 4+ Watts, 17% efficiency, 190um thick. Sold in lots of twenty
eight. We hand tab the solar cells at our warehouse! Why are our solar
cells bundled in quantities of 28? There are several reasons we do
this. First we need to have just the right amount bundled together
(not too many or too little) to prevent breakage during shipping.
Second twenty eight cells linked in series gives us about 14-15 Volts
of power which is nearly perfect for charging most 12V batteries.
Finally, from our own solar panel building experience we have found
that trying to build a very large dimension solar panel creates
difficulties during manufacture, handling, installing and configuring
electrically the solar array. It works best for us with multiple of
easily handled 28 cells 14V panels. Our method makes it easy to
configure a 12V, 24V, 36V or 48V and still remain below 16Amps of
current which works with most other solar components. Another
advantage is that it makes it possible in some instances to charge
batteries in small systems without the need of a charge controller

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