Solar Cells are the basic building blocks of Soar Panels and it is unlikely that most people will have to buy them or even know about them.But it is good to understand about Solar Cells as they are the most vital piece of solar power generation.Solar Cells are mostly made of Silicon the same material […]

What is a Solar Cell

A solar cell is an electrical device that converts light energy directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect.Note Solar Cells can be made of many materials like Silicon,Cadmium Tellerium,CIGS and even on Organic Substrates.However almost 90% of the Solar Cells produced in the world currently are made of crystalline silicon.The drastic fall in prices of silicon solar cells has seen an explosive growth in demand with solar cell supply increasing by almost 50% per year in the last decade.

Multijunction Solar Cell Concept

The basic principle on which solar cells work is Photovoltaic ie. they convert the photons from the sunlight into usable electricity. However, in this process neither is all the light absorbed nor does all the photons get converted into electricity. High energy blue light photons do not have all of their energy converted into electricity, some is wasted as heat & low energy red light photons are not absorbed at all. Sunlight is made up of a broad spectrum and depending upon these various wavelengths, photons of light also have different energy levels.Hence, to minimize this wastage & to enhance the efficiency of solar cells, scientists came up with the concept of multijunction solar cells.

1366 Technologies has got a $150 million DOE Loan Guarantee as the startup looks to raise $300 million to fund its solar wafer producing factory.Note the company is using an innovative technology which it says will be game changer in reducing the costs for making solar wafers.Note Solar Wafer Companies in China have managed to raise scale and reduce costs substantially in recent years winning marketshare from European companies like REC and Solarworld.The smaller companies like PV Crystalox are in deep trouble because of their high cost of operations and are trading at a fractional of their book value.Its a tough environment for solar companies especially if they are starting out as established solar panel companies like Evergreen Solar are facing potential bankruptcy.Evergreen Solar got millions of dollars in grants and loans from Massachusetts however the company has been forced to shut down its factory.Like 1366 Technologies Evergreen too uses a unique technology “String Ribbon” to producer solar wafers .However it has not been able to scale and reduce costs compared to the mainstream silicon solar wafer producers like LDK and GCL.

Solar Energy is the fastest growing industry in the USA and has been one of the fastest globally as well with solar demand rising by more than 150% in 2010 fueled by massive cuts in prices of solar panels especially those from China.While this has led to a major drop in solar energy stock prices this has also led to a massive boost in volumes due to demand elasticity.Only the top solar companies will be able to survive this brutal consolidation that is taking place with some companies like Solyndra already consigned to the death list.Solar Industry is a global one and has a big supply chain as well.This means that looking at only one stock market will deprive you of better opportunities that might exist in other stock markets.There is also a big supply chain associated especially with crystalline solar panels.There are companies that exist only in Polysilicon,Wafers,Cells,Modules.There are also companies that are suppliers of material like encapsulants and metal alloys to these industries.This article will give you a very broad idea on the complete list of solar energy stocks that exist in each part of the supply and different parts of the world.You can also look at the 2 solar ETFs that trade on the US stock markets TAN and KWT .

Dye sensitized solar cells are next-generation solar cells based on innovative technology. Unlike conventional silicon-based solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells consist primarily of photosensitive dye and other substances. A dye-sensitized solar cell is a low-cost solar cell. This cell is also known as the Gratzel cell & was invented by Michael Gratzel and Brian O’Regan. It is based on a semiconductor formed between a photo-sensitized anode and an electrolyte, a photoelectrochemical system. It belongs to the group of thin film solar cells.