Original Research

Photovoltaic electricity

R. Swanepoel
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 17, No 3 | a698 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v17i3.698 | © 1998 R. Swanepoel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 July 1998 | Published: 12 July 1998

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R. Swanepoel,, South Africa

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Abstract

PPhotovoltaic electricity (PV) is a free and clean source of renewable energy and presents a solution for many of the socio-economic problems of both first world and third world communities. Large-scale introduction of PV is currently hampered by the high cost of solar cells. At present crystalline silicon solar cells dominate the world market. These cells consist of flat wafers pure Si with a p-n junction and the technology is almost perfected with cell efficiencies of 24%. The efficiency of poly-crystalline wafers is somewhat lower but they are more cost effective.

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