Organic Solar Cells vs Inorganic Solar Cells

Last Updated: November 29, 2020

Today, we will talk about organic and inorganic solar cells.

Solar energy is precise and renewable energy. All around the world, people are adopting it. Its benefits are beckoning.

When we talk about its benefits, It is one of the global benefits is mitigating global warming and echo-friendliness. At the same time, it is cost-effective. You just need setup. When we compare the growth of solar PV to the growth of wind, hydropower, and other renewable energy resources, Solar energy has dominated a large section of renewable resources. While wind and hydropower capacity growth decay, solar photovoltaic capacity growth will continue to increase in the upcoming years. Here is the comparison, organic solar cells vs inorganic solar cells.

We use solar cells for energy generation. We use them to convert sunlight into electrical energy. Companies usually use silicon for its production. Solar cells are getting cheaper every day. They render more power than other common sources. As we know we always want things efficient as much as possible. Companies are trying to make solar panels saving and aesthetically engaging as much as possible. Mainly we compare prices and efficiencies for comparison. Efficiency is converting sunlight into electrical energy. We divide solar cells into two categories, organic and inorganic. Inorganic contains silicon and gallium. on the other hand, organic

Organic Solar Cells

organic solar cells

An organic solar cell is something new in the industry. Usually, solar cells use silicon. Organic solar cells use carbon material as a semiconductor. As they contain carbon material, we have also referred to them as “plastic solar cells”. When we talk about semi-conductor, it uses organic electronics rather than silicon. You can consider it one of the bold differences. Another difference between silicon photovoltaics and organic photovoltaics (OPV) is a different physical structure. Organic solar cells generate electricity like inorganic solar cells through the photovoltaic effect. So the photovoltaic process is the same. Semiconductor materials are different. They are produced utilizing an ink-based application and can manifest transparency. They are usually thin, lightweight, and flexible.  Organic solar cells have a comparatively little surrounding impact during production.

Their efficiencies are low, around 5%.  Organic solar cells have a low lifespan, around 5-7 years. As they are lightweight, they can get fit easily. They are less efficient than inorganic solar cells. They cost more than inorganic solar cells. And currently, they are not available in the market. Scientists are still testing organic solar cells. You can say They are upcoming technology surely would help. We can install them in more unusual ways than we ordinarily do. When we consider merit, we know it is less efficient than inorganic, but it has some advantages like versatility.

Inorganic solar cells

Organic Solar Cells vs Inorganic Solar Cells

Inorganic solar cells comprise crystalline, amorphous, and microcrystalline material. Silicon is used as a semiconductor to produce electricity. Common inorganic cells include mono and multi-crystalline silicon, GaAs (gallium arsenide) and CdTe 8 (cadmium telluride) modules. Common silicon photovoltaic panels provide energy with the efficiencies around 17%.

These cells are traditional solar cells. Owners usually install them on top of the roof. They are more efficient than organic solar cells. Their prices are falling every year at a good pace. Some years ago, it was difficult to access solar panels but today it is attainable for everyone. Installation prices are affordable. With time, they have been improved technically. Their productivity is much better.

Organic Solar Cells vs Inorganic Solar Cells

Here is a quick comparison that so you can conclude easily;


Efficiency is conversation sunlight falling onto solar panels into electricity.

In experiments in labs, organic solar panels could give 11% to 12%. While inorganic solar panels offer you 20+% efficiency.

Efficiency is one of the reasons we are not using organic solar cells for residential and commercial purposes.


The major difference between organic and inorganic solar cells is of the semiconductor. Inorganic solar cells have crystalline silicon. On the other hand, inorganic solar cells have carbon-based organic compounds.

Organic solar cells are made using the ink-based application. They are packed in a thin layer to an unnatural backing that makes them flexible and fittable unlike inorganic solar cells such as on wall or window.


As we mentioned above, organic solar cells are not available for commercial and residential uses, so comparing it to inorganic solar cells does not make sense. Though, prices of solar photovoltaic are constantly decreasing with betterment in solar panels. Here is a graph from 2016 to 2020 of photovoltaic modules’ prices per watt in USD;

U.S. quarterly prices of photovoltaic modules 2016-2020

In the USA, today, solar module costs you 0.21 U.S dollars per watt averagely that used to be 0.63.

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