why are solar panels so expensive?
- Robert LLv 41 decade agoBest Answer
Most solar cells (the best ones) are made from
silicon crystal that is grown very slowly.
Silicon crystals growth from pure silicon is
an extremely slow and expensive process.
Because of gravity and how the crystals are grown
it is very hard to grow large flawless crystals.
The biger the crystal the harder it is to make it
perfectly flawless, a requirement for it to work.
Pure silicon crystal ingots are very expensive items flawless or not.
I'm not sure what it runs but it is likely to be
more expensive that gold ingots.
Fortunately, most chips are small and one waffer
which is a very thin slice from an ingot
can make thousands of chips,
but only one solar cell.
There are new types of solar cells now that
do not cost so much...but the technology is new
and the cost has not come down yet.
Here is an example that uses nanostructure diamonds
of all things: http://www.advanceddiamond.com/Source(s): http://www.solaicx.com/pages/pv.htm http://www.solarworld.de/fileadmin/sites/solarworl...
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- 5 years ago
Who said silicon is in limited supply?, on the contrary, together with aluminum it is one of the most abundant elements on the Earth's crust, does anyone remember from their elementary Geography courses the word SiAl in reference to the main chemical composition of the Earth's rocks?. The true cause behind the difficulties behind solar cell manufacturing is our capitalistic, profit oriented system and nothing else, mainly because solar power development, together with other environmental friendly energy sources, directly threatens the stability of the all powerful oil industry, it represents a threat to their immense profits and they will keep doing everything in their power to keep it the way it is today.
- 1 decade ago
One reason is that silicon is in limited supply. Until better means of producing it are discovered and developed, it will be of limited supply and increasing demand. However, some state governments and also the federal government have started to provide subsidies to help with the initial investment which is expected to take 10-15 years to recoup. Also, 42 states and D.C. require utilities companies to pay you for any excess power that you generate and sell to them.Source(s): Kiplinger's Personal Finance Green Issue
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Because of the failure rate of making the cells. They are fragile to begin with, and assembly makes the problems worse. There is also the point of supply and demand. If there is a high demand for a product, then the price goes up for the item, like gasoline.
- Anonymous6 years ago
You can find solar panels for beginners at COMPAREFROGGY