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Because of the danger in the materials used, and the risk of contaminating the delicate cells, most companies require near perfect sanitation in work rooms. "Space suits" are often required when working with the silicon wafers.


Cell-Producing Procedures

Every company has its own procedure for making photovoltaic cells. This is a highly competitive industry where procedures are kept confidential.

A Competitive Industry

Cell Efficiency

Every company tries to produce more efficient cells than others. All of this competition has brought on many scientific advances, and has resulted in cells approaching 25% efficiency.

Cell Efficiency

An Average Cell

Today, most cells measure around 5 by 10 centimeters. Usually, they produce about one watt of electricity, and have an efficiency around 20%.

Average Cells

Sandia National Laboratories

The Department of Energy runs a multi-program national security lab called Sandia, located in California and New Mexico. Sandia has a Photovoltaic Systems Assistance Center, which specializes in researching photovoltaic science.

Sandia National Laboratories

Photovoltaic Corporations

There are a wide variety of corporations that deal with the production of solar cells or cell ingredients, including Astropower, Carborundum, Ferro, and Solarex.

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