Solar panels are an eco-friendly electric generator. Solar panels generate electrical power from the sun by converting sunlight to electricity with no moving parts, zero emissions, and no maintenance. The solar panel, the first component of a electric solar energy system, is a collection of individual silicon cells that generate electricity from sunlight.
The basic component of a solar panel is solar cell or photovoltaic cell.
A solar cell or photovoltaic cell is a device which generates electricity directly from visible light by means of the photovoltaic effect. In order to generate useful power, it is necessary to connect a number of cells together to form a solar panel, also known as a photovoltaic module.
What is a solar cell?
How does it works
How much energy can it produce?
The photons (light particles) produce an electrical current as they strike the surface of the thin silicon wafers. A single solar cell produces only about 1/2 (.5) of a volt. However, a typical 12 volt panel about 25 inches by 54 inches will contain 36 cells wired in series to produce about 17 volts peak output. If the solar panel can be configured for 24 volt output, there will be 72 cells so the two 12 volt groups of 36 each can be connected in series.
Multiple solar panels can be connected in parallel to increase current capacity (more power) and wired in series to increase voltage for 24, 48, or even higher voltage systems. [pic]
Types of solar panels:
The 3 basic types of Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels :
The most efficient and expensive solar panels are made with Monocrystalline cells. These solar cells use very pure silicon and involve a complicated crystal growth process. Long silicon rods are produced which are cut into slices of .2 to .4 mm thick discs or wafers which are then processed into individual cells that are wired together in the solar panel.