Flat plate vs. concentrator solar photovoltaic cells - A manufacturing cost analysisThe choice of which photovoltaic system (flat plate or concentrator) to use for utilizing solar cells to generate electricity depends mainly on the cost. A detailed, comparative manufacturing cost analysis of the two types of systems is presented. Several common assumptions, i.e., cell thickness, interest rate, power rate, factory production life, polysilicon cost, and direct labor rate are utilized in this analysis. Process sequences, cost variables, and sensitivity analyses have been studied, and results of the latter show that the most important parameters which determine manufacturing costs are concentration ratio, manufacturing volume, and cell efficiency. The total cost per watt of the flat plate solar cell is $1.45, and that of the concentrator solar cell is $1.85, the higher cost being due to the increased process complexity and material costs.
Granon, L. A. (Motorola, Inc. Phoenix, AZ, United States)
Coleman, M. G. (Motorola, Inc. Semiconductor Group, Phoenix, Ariz., United States)