目前单晶硅太阳能电池的光电转换效率为 17% 左右，最高的达到 24 ％，这是目前所有种类的太阳能电池中光电转换效率最高的，但制作成本很大，以致于它还不能被大量广泛和普遍地使用。由于单晶硅一般采用钢化玻璃以及防水树脂进行封装，因此其坚固耐用，使用寿命最高可达 25 年。
多晶硅太阳电池的制作工艺与单晶硅太阳电池差不多，但是多晶硅太阳能电池的光电转换效率则要降低不少，其光电转换效率约 15 ％左右。从制作成本上来讲，比单晶硅太阳能电池要便宜一些，材料制造简便，节约电耗，总的生产成本较低，因此得到大量发展。此外，多晶硅太阳能电池的使用寿命也要比单晶硅太阳能电池短。从性能价格比来讲，单晶硅太阳能电池还略好。
非晶硅太阳电池是 1976 年出现的新型薄膜式太阳电池，它与单晶硅和多晶硅太阳电池的制作方法完全不同，工艺过程大大简化，硅材料消耗很少，电耗更低，它的主要优点是在弱光条件也能发电。但非晶硅太阳电池存在的主要问题是光电转换效率偏低，目前国际先进水平为 10 ％左右，且不够稳定，随着时间的延长，其转换效率衰减。
Monocrystalline silicon solar cells
At present, the photoelectric conversion efficiency of monocrystalline silicon solar cells is about 17%, and the highest reaches 24%, which is the highest in all kinds of solar cells at present. However, the production cost is so high that it cannot be widely and widely used. Because monocrine silicon is usually encapsulated in toughened glass and waterproof resin, it is durable and has a service life
of up to 25 years.
Polysilicon solar cells
The production process of polycrystalline silicon solar cells is similar to that of monocrystalline silicon solar cells, but the photoelectric conversion efficiency of polycrystalline silicon solar cells is much lower, and its photoelectric conversion efficiency is about 15%. In terms of production cost, it is cheaper than monocrystalline silicon solar cells, the material is simple to manufacture, saves
power consumption, and the total production cost is low, so it has been developed in large quantities. In addition,
the service life of polysilicon solar cells is shorter than that of monocrystalline solar cells. In terms of performance-price
ratio, monocrystalline silicon solar cells are slightly better.
Amorphous silicon solar cell (thin film solar cell)
Amorphous silicon solar cell is a new type of thin film solar cell appeared in 1976, it is completely different from monocrystalline silicon and polycrystalline silicon solar cell production method, greatly simplified process, silicon material consumption is less, lower power consumption, its main advantage is that it can also generate electricity under weak light conditions. However, the main problem of amorphous silicon solar cells is the low photoelectric conversion efficiency, which is about 10%
at the international advanced level and not stable enough. With the extension of time, its conversion efficiency decreases.