Solar Panels

What Are Solar Panels Actually Made Of?

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If you are searching for a solar panel installation company, you might wonder about your choices. There are several different types of solar panels that are available today. It is good to know what these products are made of. By understanding this, you can make the right choice when selecting solar panels that will be installed that your home or place of business. Let’s discuss what they are made of, and the many choices that you do have available once you decide to install solar panels, or a solar panel array, to generate electricity from the sun.

What Are Solar Panels Made Of?

All solar panels today are made of a material called crystalline silicon. You have probably heard of the word silicon before. It is the same material from which circuit boards are made of. This is because it is a very efficient semi conductor material. When electricity is generated with solar panels, it is because of the effect that sunlight has on the crystals themselves. Electrons are excited within the silicon cells because of the sunlight, causing the electricity to flow.

Different Types Of Solar Powered Photovoltaic Panels

There are two main types of solar panels that are created today. This would include monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. There are also a few others that are made of different types of solar cells. This would include thin film solar cells, amorphous silicon solar cells, and what is called a bio hybrid solar cell. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient. That is because of the lower silicon purity often associated with polycrystalline solar cells. Some of these can be very efficient, including new ones that have over 44% efficiency, surpassing the average 25% efficiency that most monocrystalline solar panels have.

New Elements Introduced To Solar Panels

Some of the more efficient solar panels include those that use what is called transfer printing. This allows the manufacturers to create the solar panels with a higher degree of efficiency and precision. Additionally, they use what is called gallium antimonide substrates. This allows the solar panels to absorb literally every part of the direct sunlight that it is exposed to. Longer wavelength photons are now absorbed by these solar panels, improving their ability to produce electricity. This is just one of the latest advancements in solar panel technology that is moving us closer to generating electricity primarily from solar panels and solar arrays.

Why Many People Are Investing In Solar Panels

There are three primary reasons why solar panels are becoming much more popular. First of all, it has to do with the materials that they are made of. Second, the design of the solar panel system can contribute to its overall efficiency. This includes the use of the solar panels, inverters, battery packs, proper wiring, and what is called a solar tracking mechanism. Finally, the cost of producing solar panels has come down over the years. This includes a lower cost for producing the solar panels and how streamlined the production processes. The lower costs are motivating people to make this initial investment which will easily pay for itself in just a few years.

This overview of what solar panels are made of should show you that technology is continually advancing. The designs of today are so much more efficient than they were when they first came out. If projections are correct, it is possible that are dependency upon hydroelectric dams may begin to diminish over the next few decades. The efficiency levels of new solar panels has also motivated many people to make this type of investment. It allows consumers to effectively generate free electricity from the sun which helps them save money on their utility bills every year.

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A Step By Step Guide To How Solar Panels Work

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Solar panels are one of the most common alternative energy providers. While most people know about solar panels, they will not actually know how they work. If you are considering solar panels for your home, you need to know how the solar panels work to better understand your investment.

Step 1 – Collecting Sunlight

The first step that solar panels take is to collect sunlight. Every solar panel will have PV or photovoltaic cells. These cells are what the panels use to collect sunlight and transform it into energy. This is the reason why you have to be careful with the placement of your solar panels. If they do not get enough light, they will not be able to collect enough energy.

When the sunlight hits the solar panel, the PV cells will start to work. They will take the light photons and turn it into direct current electricity. While this is the first step, it does not actually help your home that much. This is due to the fact that DC electricity cannot be used to power your home.

Step 2 – Inverters Convert The Power

The second step solar panels take is to covert the DC electricity they have into power that you can use. This step is completed by the inverter which is something that every solar panel will have. The inverter will generally be located on the back of the solar panel and will convert DC electricity to AC electricity. This is important because AC electricity is what every device and appliance in your home will run on.

The exact steps that the inverter takes will vary depending on the type that you have. String inverters are the cheapest and will not be mounted to each solar panel. The problem with these inverters is that when one solar panel is shaded the entire string will suffer and the energy output will be lower.

Microinverters are attached to each solar panel and are more common in modern solar panel systems. One issue that you might have with these inverters is the fact that they are relatively new to the market and could not be as reliable as the string inverters. However, each panel will output AC electricity with these inverters which makes the entire array more effective.

Step 3 – Energy Flows Into A Net Meter

The next step that the solar panels take is to push the AC energy into the net meter. The net meter is important because it will determine the amount of energy your panels are creating and the amount you are drawing from the utility grid. Of course, this will only be part of your system if your property is still linked to the utility grid. If you have disconnected your property, this step will not take place as there will be nothing to monitor.

The flow into the net meter will also help to determine how much of your solar energy is going back into the grid. When you push energy into the utility grid, you will receive a credit for this from the utility company.

The next step in the process will be to store the energy that is created by the solar panels. This will be done using a battery bank which is connected to the inverters. The size of the battery bank used by the solar panels will vary depending on the size of the system.

The battery bank will store the AC electricity produced by the solar panels until you are ready to use this. The charge in the battery will be replenished during the day and your home will use this energy during the night.

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