Blogs, Energy Efficiency, Solar

What is a Solar Panel?

Solar panels make use of the free and renewable energy from the sun, and it is a cleanprocess of gathering that solar energy and converting that into usable electricity with the aid of the photoelectric effect. This works by simply separating sunlight’s particles and then collecting the electrically charged electrons. The panels are combined with other important components like the inverter which is required to convertthis electricity into a usable form.

The panels are made by utilising crystalline silicon, gallium silicon or amorphous silicon alloy, and the cost and efficiency varies depending on which one of these materials is used.

The crystalline silicon solar panel looks like a wafer disk which is less than a centimeter thick, and is combined with a dopant material to alter the electrical charge.  A metal conductor is spread all over the disk to protect the silicon layer and a glass cover is attached to the top of the panel to bond the voltaic cells tightly and for durability purposes.  Conductive cement is also applied to prevent the panel from overheating, but the usual overheating precautions should still be applied like proper ventilation and spacing.

The amorphous silicon panel uses the roll to roll process, which is a lot different from the traditional crystalline silicon. The roll to roll process generates vapor which is deposited in the silicon alloys and uses a specialized layer that absorbs the different parts of the solar spectrum. The amorphous panel is the preference in the future technology of solar panel manufacture mainly because of its efficiency, cost and manufacturing possibilities.

The only drawback with this kind of panel is the installation. Attaching the wires of each cell is not as difficult as the others because soldering each wire is not applicable. You have to use electrical tape or electrical epoxy, however it doesn’t aid in the conduction of the electricity.  This process is harder and more time consuming but it is a preferable way to assemble the panels to prevent damage associated with soldering.

Whichever material you choose, choosing to use solar panels to generate energy is beneficial both economically and environmentally. These two reasons are responsible for the boom in the solar industry over the past few years, which shows no signs of slowing down. Especially since recent events have caused large countries like Japan and Germany to phase out nuclear energy and replace it with solar power and other renewable energy sources.