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Shining Light on Solar Cells - Chapter 6.1: How are solar panels made? (From silicon wafers to solar panels)

We continue exploring the manufacturing process of solar cells by learning phases 3 and 4, which is to turn silicon wafer into solar cells, and then solar cells into solar panels.

Here is a summary of the entire manufacturing process of solar panels:

Phase 1: Purify Quartz in to Solar grade silicon Carbothermic reduction Reduce SiO2 into S
  Siemens process Purify metallurgical grade Si in to solar grade Si
Phase 2: Solar grade Si in to Si wafers CZochralski process To produce p-doped monocrstalline Si
  Bridgman process To produce p-doped polycrystalline Si
  Wire Saw Slice Si ingots in to wafers
Phase 3: Si wafer in to Si cell Water surface processing Remove damaged surface and reduce reflectivity
  Quartz furnace N-doped p wafer
  Antireflective coating  
  Screen printing To produce top and bottom metal contacts, as well as back surface field
  Firing Allow diffusion of front and back contacts to contact with the emitter and absorber layer, respectively
Phase 4: Si solar cell in to solar panel Tabbing Electrically connect solar cells
  Lamination To adhere the entire solar panel stack
  Post-lamination Al frame, Silicon gasket , junction box added

Further reference materials that I highly recommend:

Luque, A. and Hegedus, S. (2003). Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978-0-471-49196-5.

Other parts in this series:

I'm an R&D Mechanical Engineer from Keysight Technologies. I design mechanical components that facilitate over-the-air testing equipment. I also have a strong background in photovoltaics. I love creating STEM-related content to inspire and encourage people to pursue STEM, as well as to provide career advice to fresh grads who are looking for their first job
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