Silicon Solar Panels
Why are solar panels made of silicon? What makes it so good for conducting energy?
Actually, solar panels are made from many different materials. Silicon was one of the first materials that showed great stability for long term reliability and remains the major source material for making solar panels. The silicon is doped with other elements which allow the electrons to break loose when the photons from the sun strike their surface. It is the electrons breaking loose that make the electrical energy.
New materials and processes are making significant strides in efficiency and durability in the thin film technology. The thin film technology uses much thinner thicknesses of different materials to make the photovoltaic panels. It remains to be seen if the thin film technology will displace silicon technology. The whole idea is to reduce the cost of photovoltaic panels to make solar cheaper. Silicon has dropped significantly in price due to high volume manufacturing that it is unclear at this time which technology will be the winner. The First Solar project in Carresa Plains uses a thin film technology and the Sun Power project uses traditional silicon.
SERVING CALIFORNIA'S CENTRAL COAST FROM MONTEREY TO LOMPOC SINCE 1975