Renewable energy has quickly become one of the fastest growing sources of electricity in the world, and solar power, which uses photovoltaic (PV) cells to turn sunlight into electricity, has been a large part of that growth. Solar panels are getting cheaper and more efficient every year, and as more homes and businesses begin to switch to solar panels installation, the interest of people in solar has been increased. In this article we will explain all about what are solar panels made of to work efficiently.
Solar cells (Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline & Thin Film)
Solar cells are the basic component of solar panels. In general, they can be divided into crystalline and thin-film solar cell types. Crystalline cells have high performance, but these panels tend to be more expensive than thin-film cells. Thin-film solar panels, on the other hand, are more affordable but not as efficient as crystalline ones. Crystalline is further divided into monocrystalline or single-crystal and polycrystalline solar cells.
Monocrystalline solar cells look like tiny slices of rock, their more uniform structure enables higher efficiency in converting sunlight into energy.
Polycrystalline solar cells are basically large lumps of silicon, cut from a larger ingot that naturally forms crystals, each panel is a smaller version of an ingot from which it came.
Thin-film are made up of other materials, including cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide. In terms of performance, thin-film solar cells tend to be less efficient than crystalline ones. But they also cost less to produce, making them a good option for large projects with relatively low power requirements. It is recommended that before buying any type of solar panel, consult with a reputable and experienced solar company like Climatech which can guide you better as per your requirements.
Other Components of a Solar Panel
Photovoltaic cells also called solar cells to make up most of a solar panel, but they’re not all that it contains. All solar panels also have some other important components which combine together to form a complete panel.
Encapsulation is a process that helps protect solar cells from harm. This prevents them from being damaged by exposure to air and other types of environmental elements, like moisture. It is done to bond layers of silicon together in order to create efficient photovoltaic units. The material used to encapsulate these solar cells is typically Ethylene vinyl acetate. This material is relatively cheap and durable while also being flexible enough to be molded into different shapes as needed.
The Glass Cover
Next, there’s a glass cover that protects your solar cells. This is usually a thin layer of glass. The thickness of the glass will depend on how many cells you have in your panel and how much space they take up. To protect solar panels from outside elements, such as snow and rain, glass covers often have to be laminated or tempered.
Photovoltaic modules usually have an aluminum frame that supports and covers all of their electrical components. The back of these frames is often black, which not only helps absorb heat but also prevents them from becoming hot to the touch. These backs are also typically coated with a paint or sealant designed to protect against corrosion or rusting.