A solar panel is a device to take advantage of solar energy. It can also be called a solar module.
Photovoltaic solar panels contain a set of solar cells that convert light into electricity. It is called solar because the sun is one of the strongest energy sources for this type of use. Solar cells are sometimes called photovoltaic cells, and photovoltaics literally means "light-electricity". Solar cells have the photovoltaic effect to absorb the sun's energy and cause electrical current to flow between two charged layers in the opposite direction.
- Solar collectors. Used in solar thermal installations. Its function is to raise the temperature of a fluid through solar radiation.
- Photovoltaic panels. It is a set of photovoltaic cells whose function is to generate an electric current.
Solar collectors are solar panels designed for the use of solar thermal energy.
This type of solar panel is used in solar thermal installations. Its function of solar thermal energy is to harness the heat energy of the sun to heat a liquid. For this, the laws of thermodynamics are applied.
This type of solar panel works by circulating a fluid inside it that captures the heat energy coming from the sun. This fluid will later heat the water of another circuit that is used to shower or use for the heating circuit.
These are solar panels composed generally of silicon that take advantage of the energy of the photons present in the light to make jump an electron of the silicon. By the addition of several of these electrons, an electric current is generated.
Theory and construction of a photovoltaic solar panel
Crystalline silicon and gallium arsenide are the typical choices of materials for solar cells. Gallium arsenide crystals are created especially for photovoltaic applications, but silicon crystals are also produced for consumption by the microelectronics industry. Polycrystalline silicon has a lower percentage of conversion, but at a reduced cost.
When exposed to a direct light of 1 AU, a silicon cell 6 centimeters in diameter can produce a current of 0.5 amperes to 0.5 volt. Gallium arsenide is more efficient.
The sets of solar panels can produce electricity for isolated places that have good lighting. The glass is cut into small discs, polished to eliminate the danger of cutting, dopants are inserted into the discs and metallic controllers are deposited on each surface: a small connector on the surface facing the sun and a connector on the other side.
The solar panels are constructed with these cells cut into appropriate shapes, protected against radiation and other damages by applying a layer of glass and cemented on a substrate (either a rigid or flexible panel).
The electrical connections are made in series-parallel to determine the total output voltage. The protective layer must be a thermal conductor, because the cell enters when it absorbs the infrared energy of the sun that is not converted into electrical energy. As the heating of the cell reduces the operational efficiency, it is desirable to reduce this heat. The result of this construction is called solar panel.
A solar panel is a set of photovoltaic cells. Although each photovoltaic cell provides a relatively small amount of energy, a set of solar cells scattered over a large area can generate enough energy to be useful. To receive the greatest amount of energy, solar panels must be directed directly at the sun.
Last review: April 13, 2017