What are solar Panels Made of ?

A Solar panel converts photos or light energy from the sun into electricity through the photo-electric effect. The load carrying member of the a solar panel is top layer superstrate or the back layer substrate. The majority of solar panels are constructed with wafer-based crystalline silicon cells or a thin-film cell based on cadmium telluride or silicon. The wafer form in photovoltaic (PV) modules is constructed from Crystalline silicon, which is commonly used semi-conductor silicon. For solar panels to function in practical applications, they must be:

* electrically connected each solar cell and to the rest of the load system

* solar cells are brittle and need protected from mechanical damage during manufacture, transport, installation and use (in particular against hail impact, wind and snow loads).

* metal contacts, and interconnects, and for thin-film cells the transparent conductive oxide layer need protection from moisture which corrodes and in turn decreases performance and lifetime.

Most solar panels rigid but there are thin-film cell which are flexible. Solar cells are electrically connected series to achive the desired output voltage where the voltage of each cell adds up. and some cells are connected in parallet to achive the desired high current capability of the loads. In case of partial shading, diodes are included to avoid overheating of cells. Operating efficiency is reduced well solar cells heat. Hardly there is no design feature in the solar panel that descrease temperature however good installation provide plently of ventilation behind the module for preventing over heating.

Concentrator modules with array of lenses or mirrors that concentrate light into a smaller cell with very high-cost per unit area such as gallium arsenide are incoperated to new design. Solar cells depending on construction can cover many frequency range of light to produce electricity however ultraviolet, infrared and low and diffused light cannot produce electricity with existing solar panel techonolgy. There are reasearch into producing solar panels that can electricity off entire spectrum of energy including infrared and ultra violet energy. If this is possible to generate cost effective solar cells that operate in infrared energy, then solar panels can generate electricity at night when the sun is out. With current technology sunlight energy at infrared and utra violet is wavelengths are wasted.

Sunlight conversion rates for solar panels vary from 5-18% in commercial production. Current market leader in efficient solar energy modules is Colorado, USA based SunPower where solar panels have a conversion ratio of 19.3%. Second most efficient mass solar panel producer is Sanyo at module efficiency of 20.4%. China, Japan (Sanjo and Sharp) and Germany are also market leaders of Solar power generation. There are a whole range of other emerging companies (HoloSun, Gamma Solar, NanoHorizons) that are producing solar panels at conversion ratio of around 18%. These new players new innovations include power generation on the front and back sides and increased outputs.

Here is the top 10 solar power players of the world in 2009:

1. First Solar (US)

2. Suntech(China)

3. Sharp (Japan)

4. Yingli (China)

5. Trina Solar (China)

6. Sunpower Corporation (US)

7. Kyocera Corporation (Japan)

8. Canadian Solar Inc.

9. SolarWorld AG (German)

10. Sanyo Electric (Japan)

As this top 10 list indicates US domination is solar power industry is fading while the US government is turning a bind eye in this growing job generation engine that would pull US out of it's cronic resession and high unemployement.

Bookmark and Share

This video is about what are solar panels made of silicon.

Click Here! Click Here! Click Here!