The manufacturing and power industry

The manufacturing of photovoltaic cells is diverse in the photovoltaic power industry. Many participants have developed their own proprietary manufacturing processes to construct their own proprietary technology. Several technologies of manufacturing photovoltaic systems exist in the industry. These technologies arguably represent the past and future of the photovoltaic manufacturing industry. Methods used in the industry include: 1. Monocrystalline and multicrystalline production, 2. String Ribbon Technology, 3. Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS), and 4. Thin-film Technology.

The ability of a company to utilize the most cost effective manufacturing method will lead to a competitive advantage. Being the low cost manufacturer is essential to success in the photovoltaic manufacturing industry. Regardless of the technology used in the manufacturing process, there exist uniform manufacturing steps for all companies within the industry. These steps include silicon crystal growing or casting plants, photovoltaic cell manufacturing, module assembly, and systems assembly. Silicon crystal growing or casting plants refers to producing the silicon for photovoltaics.

This involves converting sand into silicon bricks and finally into wafers. Photovoltaic plant assemblies take the finished silicon wafers through a high technology semiconductor process to create working photovoltaic cells. Module Assembly refers to combining the silicon wafers into a laminated photovoltaic module. The final step, Systems Assembly, refers to the mechanical and electrical component of the finished product. Although some companies have vertically integrated all steps, typically, companies specialize in one or two steps.

This analysis is focused on companies involved in the second and third steps of the manufacturing process. The most important material for making photovoltaic cells is silicon. Although there are other photovoltaic technologies that rely on other semiconductors, like amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, copper indium diselenide, and organic cells, silicon remains the dominant raw material used within the industry. Crystalline silicon technology is the earliest form of manufacturing and continues to be the dominant technique in the market, representing approximately 94% of solar market sales in 2005 (Fast Solar Energy Facts).

Conventional crystalline silicon technology involves sawing thin wafers from solid crystalline silicon blocks. Crystalline silicon products are known for their reliability, performance and longevity. However, factors such as high waste from wafer cutting, complex processing procedures, high energy requirements, and high initial capital expenditures have limited the ability of these manufacturers to decrease costs and maximize outputs. Monocrystalline production requires taking a seed of single-crystal silicon and placing it in contact with the top surface of molten silicon.

Atoms of the molten silicon solidify in the pattern of the seed and extend the single-crystal structure. The final product is a thin monocrystalline wafer (How BP Makes Solar). The complementary silicon production technique is multicrystalline production. This is a casting method where pieces of silicon are melted in large ceramic crucibles to form an ingot, or brick of silicon. Each ingot is cut into smaller bricks, which are cut into wafers. The wafers go through a series of chemical coatings and metallization processes to complete the assembly.

Ultimately, both methods produce silicon wafers that are consolidated to form a photovoltaic cell (How BP Makes Solar). Companies using these techniques include BP Solar, Kyocera, Solar Power Industries, GE, Sanyo, Sharp, Shell Solar, and SunPower. Another manufacturing technique in the industry is String Ribbon technology developed by Evergreen Solar. Conventional silicon techniques such as monocrystalline and multicrystalline manufacturing are based on energy intensive processes used to melt the silicon into ingots and then cut the ingots into silicon wafers.

String Ribbon technology uses surface tension to form silicon wafers. The making of a string ribbon wafer is like making a soap bubble. Instead of a ring forming the bubble, this technology uses two parallel wires to form a thin-film of silicon. With this proprietary technique, two heat-resistant wires are pulled vertically through a silicon melt, and the molten silicon ps and solidifies between the strings (String Ribbon). This technique creates a thin silicon wafer and minimizes the typically energy intensive process.

A fourth manufacturing technology is Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS). This technology represents a competitive advantage for the main developer of this technique, HelioVolt. Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) is the best solar-absorbing material (Thin Film). With high yields from their substrate, HelioVolt is able to claim higher watts per cost when manufacturing this technique. In addition, this technique allows solar film to be applied to many different materials, such as glass, steel, metal, composites and some polymers.

This places them in a good position for the emerging building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products market, where photovoltaic cells are incorporated into building materials. The final method for photovoltaic cell manufacturing is thin-film technology. While most major photovoltaic power manufacturers currently rely on crystalline silicon technology for their photovoltaic cell production, thin-film technology allows for decreased costs due to less consumption of raw materials.

Thin-film technology involves depositing several thin layers of silicon on a substrate to make a photovoltaic cell. Although thin-film techniques generally use materials more efficiently than traditional crystalline manufacturing techniques, the high capital costs, low manufacturing yields, lower conversion efficiency, and reduced product performance and reliability have hindered the adoption of this technology. Despite these obstacles, thin-film technology manufacturing represents a potential method for the production of photovoltaic cells in the photovoltaic manufacturing industry.

Companies in the industry using this technology include Energy Conversion Devices (ECD), EPVSolar, and PowerFilm Technologies. Despite these manufacturing technique differences, general trends in the industry have emerged to facilitate manufacturing. The ability to produce photovoltaic cells cheaply is integral to success in this industry. The strategies used in the industry include cost reductions enabled by increased line efficiencies, vertical integration, improved economies of scale, and expansion of manufacturing capacity to low-cost manufacturing locations.

Companies use lean manufacturing and other continuous improvement strategies to streamline their manufacturing. Because this is an emerging industry, plants are engineered with state-of-the-art technology to increase efficiencies and eliminate waste. This forward thinking strategy is aligned with the technology and industry mission. Vertical integration is accomplished by producing wafers, cells and panels in one location. These silicon products can be sold individually or integrated into a finished photovoltaic module or customized system.

Although some industry members purchase silicon ingots from outside manufacturers, the optimum situation is to perform all the necessary steps of producing photovoltaic cells at one location and within one company. Economies of scale and low-cost manufacturing are achieved through reproducing identical plants throughout the world in order to meet the rising demand. Participants in the industry have assembled plants around the world, not only to be in close proximity to demand, but also to seek competitive edge through low-cost manufacturing.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
$0.00
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
Testimonials
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Business and administrative studies
excellent paper
Customer 452773, March 3rd, 2023
Humanities
Thank youuuu
Customer 452729, May 30th, 2021
Nursing
Impressive writing
Customer 452547, February 6th, 2021
History
Looks great and appreciate the help.
Customer 452675, April 26th, 2021
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent
Customer 452773, June 25th, 2023
ACC543MANAGERIALACCOUNTINGANDLEGALASPECTS
excellent
Customer 452773, January 25th, 2024
Leadership Studies
excellent job
Customer 452773, August 26th, 2023
Leadership Studies
awesome work as always
Customer 452773, August 19th, 2023
Criminal Justice
This has been the greatest help while I am recovering from an illness. Thank your team so much.
Customer 452671, May 2nd, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent job
Customer 452773, March 12th, 2023
Leadership Studies
excellent job as always
Customer 452773, September 2nd, 2023
10th grade English
very good
Customer 452773, March 26th, 2023
11,595
Customer reviews in total
96%
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
37%
Customers referred by a friend
OUR GIFT TO YOU
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Close

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp