Present day solar panels

Since the work, concluded by Berman, further improvements in solar technology have seen production costs come down to under  50 pence per watt.

As the semiconductor industry has moved to the production of ever larger boule’s (a boule of silicon is the starting material for making silicon based products) the instruments used to manufacturer earlier boule’s (i.e. the smaller machines for working with smaller boule’s), has become available for sale on the commercial market.  So, the 2-4 inch solar panel wafers used to power ARCO’s solar panels, have been superseded by the five-inch wafers or the 1990s to 6-inch panels of the present-day.

Another change at the manufacturing level has been the move to polycrystalline silicon, which while having less overall efficiency, is less expensive to produce in bulk. The widespread uptake of LCD and Plasma screen televisions over the past ten years has resulted in the widespread availability of large sheets of high-quality glass, which is used on the front of the solar panels.

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