Many people have heard about solar panels or seen them adorning the tops of homes or buildings. These mysterious flat structures are one of the newest revolutions of this century allowing us to produce electricity simply from the energy generated from the sun. Adopting solar panel usage can see a significant reduction in energy expenditure and is also great for the environment. Understanding more about what solar panels are and how they work can provide insight into this wonderful environmentally friendly technology.
Solar panels are comprised of solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells. These work to harness energy when exposed to sunlight and actively convert this energy into electricity. The cells are arranged in a grid pattern on the topmost part of each solar panel. Once the electricity is collected, it is stored and can then be transferred for use as electricity.
Solar Panel Composition
Solar panels are comprised of either gallium arsenide or crystalline silicon. Crystalline silicon is used in other industries while gallium arsenide is manufactured for use exclusively in the solar industry as photovoltaic cells. In addition to crystalline solar panels, there are also solar panels which are constructed using Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells, also known as A-si. They are assembled through the process of placing the alloy in a flowing roll to roll process. The resulting solar panels are more efficient, more durable, and much thinner than the crystalline versions.
New technology advancements in solar panel technology
Solar panel technology is not completely brand new and over time, there have been developments in the industry which have advanced their performance. The newest types of solar panels available operate on a molecular level or on a quantum level. These types of solar panels are fabricated when quantum dots or carbon nanotubes are implanted into plastic that has been treated. These types of solar panels do not require a completely clean room to be constructed unlike silicon solar panels; as such, their production costs are reduced.
Selecting the best solar panels
When choosing solar panels for the home, business, or other property, it helps to choose ones that will operate efficiently for many years without the need for replacement. Over time, continuous overheating and exposure to the elements can cause a strain on the photovoltaic units. Another factor to consider is that the amount of power which each solar panel produces is contingent upon the length of time the panel has been used, the quality of the solar panel, and the materials and technology which went into creating the panel. It helps to choose beyond the basic price and consider these additional factors when making a purchase.