Different Types Of Solar Panels Explained
The sun generates the energy required by the world for one year in only one minute. Thus, the sun can produce more energy in 24 hours than the entire population consumes in 27 years. These facts prove that solar energy is not only a reliable and long-lasting energy source, but it is also an efficient source.
To use nature's most efficient source of energy, various projects, such as solar panels, have been made. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity that can be used in daily life. In this article, we will discuss different types of solar panels and how solar panels work.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels contain numerous photovoltaic cells. When sunlight touches the surfaces of solar panels, photons (the packet of light) from the sun are absorbed by the solar cells. These photons cause the cells to excite and vibrate, which generates green electricity. This effect is known as the photovoltaic effect.
Types Of Solar Panels
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
The oldest and most developed types of solar panels are called monocrystalline solar panels. Monocrystalline solar panels are made of mono (single) and crystalline (crystal) solar cells. Monocrystalline solar cells are made from pure silicon. Pure silicon is formed into bars and then cut into wafers. The solar cells are then smoothened, cut off, and rounded, which helps to produce more electricity. Although this process is time-consuming, it gives a better appearance to monocrystalline solar panels.
Monocrystalline solar panels are premium panels because they are made of high-quality silicon. The high quality of silicon makes monocrystalline solar panels more expensive but they last a long time and are the most efficient panels. They have a higher output due to single crystals. Moreover, monocrystalline solids have a refined and uniform black look. This look makes them ideal for people looking for black modern solar panels.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
The second type of solar panel is the polycrystalline solar panel. These solar panels are also referred to as multi-crystalline solar panels. They are mid-range solar panels. Although they are not very efficient solar panels, they are the best when it comes to the affordability option. Like monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar panels are also made from silicon.
But as the name suggests, they are made of many fragments of silicon melted together to form panels. This factor makes polycrystalline solar panels less effective and has a short lifespan.
Polycrystalline panels are not able to produce as much electricity as monocrystalline can at the same time. This is mainly because the electrons do not have much space to move freely as the panels are made up of many fragments of silicon.
Polycrystalline panels are made by melting silicon and then being transferred to a square mould to make wafers. Unlike monocrystalline panels, their four sides do not need to be cut off, making them environmentally friendly as less waste is produced. The process of manufacturing polycrystalline solar panels is cheaper and requires less time, making them affordable. The wafers of silicon are assembled at the end to make polycrystalline solar panels.
These types of solar panels are identified by their sparkle, rectangular shape, and blue colour. These panels appear blue due to the many crystals of silicon and the way sunlight reflects off them to produce a sparkly blue look.
Thin Film Solar Panels
Thin film panels are flexible and thin and have a low profile as compared to monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels. This is because their wafers are 350 times thinner than other solar panels. They are manufactured from semiconducting materials such as silicon, copper, indium gallium selenide, telluride, and cadmium.
The semiconductor layer is placed in between transparent conducting material and a layer of glass on top. This helps thin-film solar panels absorb sunlight. Silicon is used to make thin-film panels, but it is not the same as silicon wafers. It is non-crystalline silicon.
Thin film solar panels are less efficient than crystalline panels. With their low efficiency and power capabilities, they require a lot of space on the roof to produce large amounts of energy. Thin film solar panels degrade easily as compared to other solar panels. Thus, they have the shortest life and warranty.
Despite their low efficiency and short lifetime, they occupy an important place in the residential solar panel industry. Their flexibility makes them available to be used for various applications. Their flexibility enables them to be moulded into shingles, and roof tiles, making them available for homeowners who do not like the appearance of solar panels. This enables them to go solar without having visible panels.
Different types of solar panels are available on the market, making solar panels accessible for any type of need. The choice of solar panels depends on the budget, project and the area they need to be installed. Depending on the environment and affordability, you can choose between any type of solar panel and use solar energy produced by the sun to convert it into electricity and use it for your convenience.