First, silicon raw material is melted and re-cast to remove impurities. The cast silicon is then stabilized in its multicrystalline form. These castings, called "ingots," are then cut into blocks.
Next, the ingots are sliced into wafers.
Depending on the type of silicon used, p-type or n-type silicon wafers may be produced.
After layering the p-type or n-type wafers, the material is capable of generating electricity from sunlight. Electrodes are attached to the wafers to conduct the flow of electricity. This is called a photovoltaic cell, or "solar cell."
Although a single cell can generate small amounts of electricity, connecting many cells in a series will increase the voltage to an optimum level.
Tempered glass and sealants are assembled around the cells to protect them against the elements. The finished product is now called a photovoltaic module, or "solar module."