(PV) solar cells convert sunlight into electricity and are
typically made of single or multi crystal silicon slabs that
are less than 1 mm thick. PVs are also made from thin film
semiconductor materials that are less than 10 µm thick.
Silicon currently dominates the PV market as it provides good
performance at a reasonable price; converting 10 to 20% of
the incident sunlight into electricity at cost of a few dollars
per watt. PV modules contain about 40 individual solar cells
and PV arrays contain about 10 modules. Silicon PV modules
generate electricity over a 20 to 30 year lifespan, producing
about 10 times more energy than is used to manufacture and
install them, making then one of the most attractive, clean,
and sustainable energy sources available.