Choosing the PV modules affordable for your installation needs to consider power output, efficiency, and aesthetics, but the inner layer of the cells with N-type or P-type is a significant factor impacting the product’s general performance.
Indeed, a select photovoltaic (PV) module featuring a P-type solar cell or an N-type solar cell can make a difference in the performance and lifespan of the module.
Eco Green Energy gathered information about both types of cells in a short reference that can help pick up the fitting solar panels for further use.
Solar cell structure
Traditional cells feature Aluminum Back Surface Field (Al-BSF), but there are newer technologies in the market, such as PERC, IBC, and bifacial technology.
Manufacturers produce P-type c-Si wafers with doping high-purity c-Si with boron, a material featuring fewer electrons, creating positively charged wafers.
Similarly, an N-type c-Si wafer is made with phosphorous – a material featuring additional free electrons and negatively charges the wafer. These layers are placed one on top of another, creating an internal electric field.
How the solar power comes from solar cells
Generally speaking, solar cells connected create a solar panel. A solar cell of two layers of silicon help to let electricity flow through them when exposed to sunlight. One layer is positively charged, the other negatively charged.
As photons enter the layers, they give up their energy to the atoms in the silicon in the form of electrons. When photons hit the silicon layers, electrons pass through the junction between the positive and negative layers, generating electric current.
P-type and N-type solar panels: what to choose
Most P-type and N-type solar cells are the same, with slight and very subtle manufacturing differences for N-type and P-type solar panels. The essential aspect of the difference between P-type and N-type solar cells is the doping used for the bulk region and the emitter.
P-type solar panels have a high resistance to radiation and degradation. This conclusion came from the 1950s when in space photovoltaic application technology applied boron. The solar industry kept the momentum going, using this well-researched technology by lowering prices to produce better P-type solar panels for terrestrial applications.
Even though many manufacturers usually apply boron for doping P-type solar panels, it can cause a boron-oxygen defect and lead to a performance decrease.
Eco Green Energy uses Gallium-doped technology for our Atlas and Atlas Pro series to prevent degradation and achieve the highest possible efficiency. You can read more about it on our product page.
N-type cells contrast with P-type ones because of their higher efficiency, but there is a much higher price and still a global lack of raw material for production. That is why it takes a much longer lead time to produce one N-type cell PV module than a P-type. Moreover, the warranty terms are the same for both types – 12 years for performance in most cases (maximum of 15 years for some regions as the limit of banks’ insurance for PV modules).
Eco Green Energy recommends you check the PV modules before purchasing and consider all factors that influence the quality.
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