The most efficient and
expensive solar panels are made with Monocrystalline cells. These
solar cells use very pure silicon and involve a complicated crystal growth
process. Long silicon rods are produced which are cut into slices of .2 to .4
mm thick discs or wafers which are then processed into individual cells that
are wired together in the solar panel.
Multi-crystalline, solar panels made with Polycrystalline cells are a little
less expensive & slightly less efficient than Monocrystalline cells because
the cells are not grown in single crystals but in a large block of many
crystals. This is what gives them that striking shattered glass appearance.
Like Monocrystalline cells, they are also then sliced into wafers to produce
the individual cells that make up the solar panel.
These are not really
crystals, but a thin layer of silicon deposited on a base material such as
metal or glass to create the solar panel. These Amorphous solar panels are much
cheaper, but their energy efficiency is also much less so more square footage
is required to produce the same amount of power as the Monocrystalline or
Polycrystalline type of solar panel. Amorphous solar panels can even be made
into long sheets of roofing material to cover large areas of a south facing