Photovoltaic-PV power generation is currently the most emphasized power generation system as it can give solutions to overcome major environmental problem including global warming and energy storage issues. PV systems used presently are not good enough to provide electricity in efficient manner as its production cost and power quality is not reliable but industries are compelled to adopt this technology due to subsidy system introduced by governments of many countries. Therefore some new trends regarding this technology are expected to come nearby.
- Thin Film Photovoltaic: thin film PV cell is made by depositing one or more thin layers or film of photovoltaic material on a substrate. Thickness of these films is measured in nanometers or ten of micrometers, as this thickness vary with different films. Different manufacturers are using different disposing materials to form these thin films, including amorphous silicon, Dye-sensitized solar cell, Cadmium telluride and Copper indium gallium Selenide. Besides this designing and fabrication of thin film PV is major part of its formation. Silicon is deposited on glass, plastic or metal with a coat of transparent conducting oxide under p-i-n structure.
- CSP (Concentrating Solar Power): another technology trend to monitor in PV is CSP. This technology uses mirror to focus the sunlight energy and then converts it into high temperature heat to rotate turbine and generate electrical power. Plant under which this technology works is consisted of two parts, one where solar energy is collected to convert and other that converts this heat into electricity. It’s been more than 15 years, that CSP is operating in US but now it will be available in other countries as well.
- High Concentration Photovoltaic: HCPV is another new technology trend to monitor in recent times. These cells employ concentrating optics to concentrate sunlight and create high capacity heat sink. It is done to prevent thermal destruction and to manage temperature related electrical performance and life expectancy losses. To increase the concentrated cooling design heat sink is structured in passive direction. To enhance the performance of HCPV, Multijunction solar cells can be used with this technology. These cells were first designed for space-based satellites, but now they needed to be redesigned to increase density of current.
- Polysilicon and solar grade: some of the developers are trying to manufacture Polysilicon with other applications like electronic chips, mobile phones and other electronic devices. Raw material used for production of polysilicon is crystalline silicon that is easily available element. But before using this it has to be purified other effect will not be efficient. Solar-grade purity is 99.999% (5N) as opposed to electronic-grade silicon purity of up to 99.9999999% (9N).
- Monocrystalline wafer: advancement in PV technology is Monocrystalline silicon or single-crystal Si. It is made with intrinsic that is very pure form of silicon that is unbroken to its edges. Most silicon monocrystals are grown by the Czochralski process, in the shape of cylinders up to 2 m long and 45 cm in diameter which later on sliced to get think wafers out of it. Since last decade this is the most prominent technology developed at very affordable cost for electronic devices. Use of thinner wafer will also decrease the cost of this technology altogether.
- Polycrystalline wafer: these thin layers are also constructed with silicon, but its structure is different from monocrystaline. It consists of small grains of monocrystaline and shaped as a cube but it can take any other shape as well during cooling process of crystal structure. This technology is currently used for the conducting gate materials in semiconductor devices but in future we will found it in many commonly used devices as well.
Price trends of PV
PV prices have declined over the years, it is common phenomenon for price to be dropped when product gets word and vastly used. Since, production of PV is gone up in recent years its prices are much more affordable than ever. If growth in PV industry remains same or increase in future price trend will follow and it will become much cheaper to use.