What Is Solar Panel?
“How solar panel works, how do they convert sunlight into electricity? These are the most common question related to solar panel that often comes to our mind. And everyone wants to know the answer of suck question in simple manner. So here you find the answer of all such kind of questions related to the working of solar panel. But before knowing about how solar panel works, firstly it is important to learn about what solar panels are?
A solar panel, which is also known as photo-voltaic module or photo-voltaic panel is basically a component/ device that converts sunlight into electricity. It is a collection of some individual solar cells that are arranged in rows or columns (like a grid pattern) in a solar panel. Actually these solar cells are the main player that generates solar power (electricity) through photo-voltaic effect.
Solar panels in today’s world are available in many models and capacities. We will talk in detail about the type of solar panel ahead. But now after knowing about solar panel, its turn to learn about their working. So have a look below to know more.
How Solar Panel Works?
As we say that a solar panel is made up of smaller units called solar cells. These solar cells are made from silicon, a semi-conductor. This semi-conductor (silicon) have two properties i.e. conductor and insulator. Conductor is like a medium through which electricity can pass easily while insulator denied the same. A silicon solar cell is designed with two different layers of silicon.
First layer uses n-type silicon (negative) which has extra electrons and second layer uses p-type silicon (positive) that has extra spaces for electrons. These spaces are called holes. Where both the layers of silicon meet, electrons can wander across the p/n junction, leaving a positive charge on one side and creating negative charge on the other.
Now when the tiny particles of sun rays called “Photon”, strikes the silicon cell with enough energy, it can knock an electron from its bond, leaving a hole. Because of that negative electron and positive hole are now free to move around. But due to the electric field at the p/n junction, they will only move to one way. The electron will move to the n-side, while the hole will move to the p-side. These electrons are collected by thin metal at the top of the cell. From there, they flow through an external circuit, doing electrical work like powering a bulb, light etc. A single silicon cell can only put out half a volt, but to get more power these cells are string together in modules.
What Is Solar Cell?
A solar cell is a key component of solar panel. It is a solar cell that convert sunlight into electricity not the solar panel. Solar cell uses the photo-voltaic effect to generate electricity. A solar cell is made of an element called, “Silicon”. Crystalline silicon is sandwiched between various conductive layers to form a solar cell. A solar cell is rectangular in shape or can be of black and blue color depending upon its manufacturing type. These solar cells are arranged in a grid like pattern which includes 32, 36, 48, 60 or 72 cells accordingly in a solar panel. Solar cells are also of two types, one is poly cell and other is mono cell.
Types Of Solar Panel
After knowing about solar panel, solar cell and their working now its turn to know about various types of solar panel. Solar panels are manufactured and designed n many types and models. Let’s have a look over the type of solar panel in brief.
- Thin Film Solar Panel
Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Monocrystalline solar panel is made from high quality single piece of silicon. This type of solar panel is also known as single crystal solar panel. The efficiency level of these solar panel is around 18% to 19%. These solar panels are black-ish color on their surface.
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Polycrystalline Solar Panel
This is the most common and popular type of solar panel. A polycrystalline solar panel is made from numbers of silicon fragments. The silicon used in this type of solar panel is low in purity. The efficiency level of these solar panels are around 16% to 17%. The have blue-ish color on their surface.
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Thin Film Solar Panel
This type of solar panel is made out of a number of material or elements. Thin film solar panels are thinner than poly and mono solar panel. They are also light in weight. But this type of solar panel is now become obsolete and not been used in India anymore.
Note: Thin film solar panels are obsolete or out of fashion and therefore not used in India anymore.
Top Solar Brands in India
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