A solar cell is a device which produces electricity from light through photovoltaic effect. This solar cell is the term especially used in the case of capturing light from sunlight and the term photovoltaic cell is mostly used when you capture light from any other device. Both involve converting the light energy into electricity. These solar cells can be converted into solar panels, solar modules or photovoltaic arrays by the assembly of solar cells. This produces an energy which is called as solar energy.
Even though the idea of solar energy production from light was from earlier days, the modern age of solar power technology started in 1954. From that time onwards many advances were made and many types of solar cells have been introduced. Solar cells are hitting the market frequently with various modifications and advancement in technologies. There are many different solar cells for sale.
You can find solar cells for sales in many places both online and offline. The costs of these solar cells are established according to cost-per-watt. In the case of infrared capable photovoltaic cells cost depends on the cost-per-watt in 24 hours. As the cost is too high it is not within the price range of many people. Hence, university of Utah engineers planned to design a new way solar cell with thin wafers of the chemical element germanium; this reduces the cost by a massive amount.
The use of solar cells in your house will reduce your electricity bill by a huge amount of money. As the use of this kind of cell increases, the production of any kind of renewable energy can be pumped back into the grid earning you some extra money. An average household requires a power system that produces 3 to 5 KW but if used properly then 1 KW unit is enough for all lights, running of TV, DVD, microwave and other ordinary household things.
When looking for solar cells for sale for your household it will probably work out to be around $5 per watt. So any household requirements needs an investment of $ 15,000 to $25,000 whereas the PV i.e., photovoltaic panel this will cost around $9,000 to $15,000.
Cheap solar cells are everyone’s goal. Right now the cost of installing enough solar panels and batteries in your house to power all of your electronic devices is in the neighborhood of $32,000. Of course, the solar cells themselves will last approximately twenty years and even the batteries should have a life of about five years, but even so, this is a high enough cost that most people would have to take out a loan to pay off the cost of installing solar energy in their house. If your current electricity bills are $100 per month, it will still take twenty six years before your solar energy system has paid for itself. Therefore, the hunt for cheap solar cells is still in progress.
Currently the country who has figured out how to manufacture the cheapest solar cells is China. This is in part because there is a ready supply of cheap and skilled labor, especially in China’s southern and eastern provinces. But it is also because China is willing to try new practices to see if they will work before many Western companies are willing to take the chance. For instance, Suntech is currently manufacturing cheap solar cells that have a sixteen to seventeen percent conversion rate, but for a much cheaper cost than the same cells in the EU or the United States.
Cheap labor and innovative business models aren’t the be all end all for cheap solar cells. New technology must also be used to make cheap solar cells. The news is currently full of potential breakthroughs in solar cell technology. For instance, a British student has pioneered a theory that artificially manufacturing melanin, a chemical found in human hair and skin that absorbs the sun’s rays, and spraying it on solar panels could increase their efficiency rate and therefore lower their cost. Other dye ideas are still in the works.
Currently, the cheapest solar cells are thin film cells, made from light and flexible pieces of silicon. However, they are not too efficient and so you need acres of them to create enough power for city. Whether the material (silicon) these cells is made more efficient or whether an entirely new process for harnessing the sun’s power comes about is hard to tell. Currently one the only ways to make solar power competitive with utility generated power is through government subsidies. However, if the economy of scale could kick in we might just yet have cheap solar cells.