Solar panels are also referred to as a solar modules, photovoltaic modules or solar photovoltaic panels are a packaged, connected assembly of photovoltaic cells. Solar Panels can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential applications. Each panel is rated by its DC output power, and typically ranges from 100 to 320 watts. Because a single solar panel can produce only a limited amount of power, most solar power installations contain multiple panels, these are generally referred to as “solar arrays” A solar system usually includes an array of solar panels, an inverter, which converts the DC current generated to AC current and sometimes a battery bank for storage, although most solar power systems today are grid-linked and do not require batteries.
How do Solar Panels work?
Solar panels use light energy (photons) from the sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. The majority of modules use wafer-based crystalline silicon cells or thin-film cells based on cadmium telluride or silicon. The structural (load carrying) member of a module can either be the top layer or the back layer. Cells must also be protected from mechanical damage and moisture. Most solar panels are rigid, but semi-flexible ones are available, based on thin-film cells.
Electrical connections are made in series to achieve a desired output voltage and/or in parallel to provide a desired current capability. The conducting wires that take the current off the panels may contain silver, copper or other non-magnetic conductive transition metals. The cells must be connected electrically to one another and to the rest of the system.
Bypass diodes may be incorporated or used externally, in case of partial panel shading, to maximize the output of panel sections still illuminated. The Schuco panels that we use have this technology integrated into the solar panels.
Still have more questions, or would you like to learn more about Home Solar panels and solar technology?
Choose from the following sections for additional information:
- Home Solar FAQs?
- Common Solar Questions?
- Why Choose Solar?
- Solar Power Payback period?
- Why Invest in Solar Energy?
- Solar Panel Installation Process?
- Do I need building consent for Solar Panel installations?
- Recent Solar Panel Installations?
- Solar Technology – View Solar Technology Videos?
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