Q&A: Why is solar technology so costly?

Question by bowlerdudeca: Why is solar technology so costly?
Why aren’t we using solar powered cars and solar powered everything? Is the technology not here or does it cost too much?
Would the equipment be too cumbersome as of now?

Best answer:

Answer by quicksilv3rflash
In order to make a solar panel, you need to use a pure silicon crystal. Silicon crystals are energy and labor intensive to grow.

There are, however, newer thin-film solar panels that do not require a pure crystal as a starting point — these should be cheap if they are mass-manufactured.

What do you think? Answer below!

Category: Product Reviews

3 Responses to “Q&A: Why is solar technology so costly?”

  1. New silicon /carbon processing technology is being developed may reduce costs of PV cells and hus solar power .
    The rice husk contains 99.9% pure silica but still there is no use of it in silicon valley.

  2. its not just the solar panels that cost but the storage (i.e. battery or hot water tank) that add to the cost. you wouldnt want to be able to drive your car only in the daylight.

  3. You are right that it would be a combination of cumbersome and costly to use solar energy for many things.

    Solar cells are made using semiconductor manufacturing technology. The machines used to precisely control the manufacture of this material can cost 10s of millions dollars a piece. The same material – used to make a computer chip – can cost up to $ 1000 per square inch once fully processed into the fastest microprocessors. Thankfully, soar cells are a bit easier to make than these high speed microprocessors and as a result are much cheaper.

    Even on a bight sunny day, one fundamental limit of solar technology is the limitation of the power available from solar energy in a given amount of area. For example the amount of energy that shines on the surface of a car parked in the sun at noon on a sunny day is still not enough to move a typical car up even a small incline, must less send it speeding up a steep hill at 60 miles per hour.

    Add to this, the problem that even the most expensive solar energy cells lose most of the sun’s energy during the conversion process and also that the sun just doesn’t shine that much (remember night time, right?). So, to obtain enough energy to supply powerful items like cars, one must either fill a very large area with solar collectors (expensive and not practical for your typical road) or let a solar panel charge a battery for a very long time, just to move a car for a short time.

    Conversely, your vision has arrived in for many items. Solar powered radios, road signs, calculators, off-shore beacons all exist. Some yatchs use solar power to power the whole ship. Hey, my watch is solared powered!

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