Crystalline silicon solar cells are used in the largest quantity of all types of panels on the
market, representing about 90% of the world total PV cell production in 2008.
The highest highest energy conversion conversion efficiency efficiency reported reported so far for research research crystalline crystalline silicon silicon PV cells is 25%.
Standard industrial cells are limited to 15–18% with the exception of certain high‐ efficiency cells capable of efficiencies greater than 20%.
High‐efficiency research PV cells have advantages in performance but are often unsuitable unsuitable for low‐cost production production due to their complex complex structures structures and the lengthy lengthy manufacturing processes required for fabrication
World annual production of PV cells reached more than 7.9 GWp in 2008 (10.6 GWp in 2009), and the average annual growth rate in PV cell production over the last decade has been more than 40%.
Yet the electrical electrical power generated generated by all PV systems systems around the world is less than 0.1% of the total world electricity generation.
Standard cells are produced using one monocrystalline and polycrystalline boron‐doped p‐type silicon substrates. Cells are typically 125 mm (5 inches) or 156 mm (6 inches) square, respectively.
Monocrystalline solar cells are produced from pseudo‐square silicon wafer substrates cut from column ingots grown by the Czochralski (CZ) process.
Polycrystalline cells, on the other hand, are made from square silicon substrates cut from polycrystalline ingots grown in quartz crucibles. The front surface of the cell is covered with micrometer‐sized pyramid structures (textured surface) to reduce reflection loss of incident light.
An anti‐reflection coating (ARC) of silicon nitride (SiNx) or titanium oxide (TiOx) is overlayed on the textured silicon surface to further reduce reflection loss.
A highly phosphorous doped n+ region is produced on the front surface of boron‐doped p‐type substrates to form p–n junctions.
The value chain for crystalline silicon solar cells and modules is longer than that for thin‐film solar cells.
There are generally three industries related to crystalline silicon solar cell and module production:
(1) metallurgical and chemical plants for raw material silicon production,
(2) monocrystalline and polycrystalline ingot fabrication and wafer fabrication by multi‐wire saw,
(3) solar cell and module production