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S&T’s Peer to Peer

Abstract

Fossil fuels have dominated the energy world ever since their introduction in the Industrial Revolution, and the world has grown more dependent on them in the Postmodern Era. However, the limited amount of fossil fuels in the world poses a problem for future generations; solar energy is the solution to this potential future energy crisis. The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive review of solar panel materials so that solar panels can be refined until they can replace fossil fuels entirely. In this study, I have researched designs for solar cells and determined the most efficient design for commercial and residential use while finding the most cost-effective materials to produce these cells. I delved into previous research studies on solar cell production and efficiency and current research updates on the materials involved in high-efficiency cells, and I gathered sources that discussed the different materials involved in solar cell manufacturing. This study has allowed me to determine that gallium arsenide compounds combined with crystalline silicon cells are the most effective at absorbing and storing solar energy. I have also determined that factors such as multi-junction cells and the concentration of light increase the cell’s efficiency. These advances in solar research will allow for more efficient cells to find their way into neighborhoods everywhere in only a matter of time.

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