Patterns, dimensions and grids

The photovoltaic cells may have different shapes and sizes. The standard cSi cells are typically 12.5x12.5cm. The size of modules however is not standardized. There are also several variations of grids for electrical contacts that may give a different look to the modules.

Cell forms and patterns produced from their assembly
1: cell forms
2: patterns produced by cell assemblies
3: zoom on the spaces between the cells

   Square  Cut off angles  Rounded angles  Round

Cell dimensions
The common dimensions are: 10x10, 12.5x12.5, 15x15cm.

Cell separation
From the point of view of energy efficiency, it must be the smallest, while for aesthetics or building integration reasons, a greater separation can be chosen.

Module dimensions
Initially, the modules were designed to be connected to a battery and had the typical dimensions of about 1.5x0.6x0.04m (4x9cells 12V). Today, the size of the modules is no longer standard, woth all the advantages that this entails.

Grids (contacts) for connecting the cells in series
Visible: the bands of galvanized copper that are necessary for the collection and carriage of the current are visible on the front of the module. These modules have a non-uniform structure.
Non visible: the metal contact is located on the rear surface. This design gives a uniform look to the modules and increases the active surface of the cell, hence its performance.

Visible contacts Non visible contacts


Other types of contacts
Multicrystalline cell Photovoltech
Module producers Soltech
Multicrystalline cell Solland Solar
       Module producers Ecostream o Solon

(1): Multicrystalline cell Q-Cells (front contact), (2): Multicrystalline cell Solland Solar (front contact), (3): Multicrystalline cell Sunpower (back contact), (4): Multicrystalline cell Advent (back contact), (5): Multicrystalline cell Solland Solar (back contact), (6): Multicrystalline cell Canadian Solar (ELPS technology).

As far as the photovoltaic cells are concerned, the most common sizes are 10x10cm, 12.5x12.5cm and 15x15cm. The most common pattern is square with smoothed, rounded angles. The typical thickness is between 0.25 and 0.35mm and the standard power is about 1.5W.

The texture, grain variation, and crystallography of the solar cell can be considered as a specific parameter of solar design able to characterize the perceptual aspect of the architectural surface. Crystalline cells, characterized by the perceptual effect generated by the silicon crystals, according to the type of crystalline structure have the following characteristics:
- Si polycrystalline: irregular texture with crystal grain size from 0.001mm to 1mm.
- Si monocrystalline: uniform texture with crystal grain size greater than 10cm.
The cells in thin film, characterized by an amorphous crystalline structure (atoms arranged as in a liquid), have instead a generally uniform appearance.