What they are
Polycrystalline cells are the conductive powerhouses of solar panels. These cells are what convert the sun’s energy into usable electricity. They consist of multiple silicon fragments melted together to form a panel. They have a mosaic appearance, similar to a piece of abstract art. With “Poly” meaning many and “crystalline” meaning composed of crystals, we can understand the structure of this cell even more.
HOw are they made?
To create polycrystalline cells, about 1300 pounds of silicone rock is loaded into a quarts mold, then heated to 2500 degrees Fahrenheit in a large furnace. It takes roughly 20 hours for the silicone to melt, and up to 3 days to cool down. Once the silicone cools, the material is cut down into individual wafers, which are cut into the grid-like pattern you see on Everlight Solar’s panels. They are more cost-effective to manufacture than monocrystalline cells, which is why they are becoming the go-to choice in solar.