Solar panels are one of the most essential pieces of equipment to help alleviate the devastating effects of climate change. While conventional electricity is produced using raw materials that contribute to carbon footprint, solar panels derive energy directly from the sun, an infinite and organic source. How exactly does a solar panel system for your home work then? In this article, we’ll learn more about the various materials that go into the making of these solar panels, and how they’re put together to help power your home.

“Ingredients” of a Solar Panel

Ingredients of a Solar Panel-Solar panel system for home

One of the most critical materials used in the making of a solar panel is silicon, as it is a key component of the semiconductors in your panel that actually help produce electricity from solar energy. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg.

A typical solar panel requires 6 different components in order to function and do its job — silicon solar cells, a metal frame, a glass sheet, a standard 12V wire, and a bus wire. 

As mentioned earlier, the silicon cells are what converts sunlight into electricity using what is known as the photovoltaic effect. When these cells are soldered together between the glass panels, the silicon cells interact with the thin glass sheet to create an electrical charge. 

The metal frame, usually made from aluminium, is what protects the solar panel system for your home from adverse weather conditions and other dangerous scenarios that could cause physical damage to those panels. Additionally, the frame also enables the solar panels to be mounted at a desired angle. This is particularly helpful for solar panels for landed properties and other residences that allow for custom solar panel installation works.

Then, you have a 6–7mm thick glass casing sheet that adds further protection to the silicon solar cells, adding durability and protection for the silicon photovoltaic (PV)cells. Beneath the glass exterior is a casing for insulation, as well as a protective back sheet designed to minimise heat dissipation and humidity inside the panel. 

Finally, you have a 12V wire to regulate the amount of energy being transferred into your inverter as well as the sustainability and efficiency of the solar module; and bus wires to connect the silicon cells in parallel.

How Solar Panels are Made

How Solar Panels are Made-Solar panel for landed property

Most solar panels are either made of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon solar cells that are soldered together and sealed behind an anti-reflective glass cover. As light hits the solar cells, the PV effect is triggered and electricity is thus created. There are 5 key steps towards successfully making a solar panel system for your home — producing the solar cells, soldering the cells together into a panel, installing the glass sheets and frame, installing a junction box, and a final quality check.

Solar cells contain a mix of crystalline silicon and either gallium or boron to create a silicon ingot that, when phosphorus is added, is able to conduct electricity. These ingots are cut into thin sheets and coated with an anti-reflective layer, with thin slits cut into them to facilitate electrical flow. The cells are then soldered together, either in a 60-cell panel, which is the standard size, or a 72-cell panel, which is more commonly used for commercial projects.

Next, a backsheet that is usually made from a durable plastic, is installed at the bottom of the solar cells for protection. A glass sheet is then installed on top of the solar cells to better filter sunlight into the cells. These parts are glued together by ethylene vinyl acetate, which is a type of adhesive. The components are then held in place by a metal frame which is latched onto the mounting clamps on your roof — if you’re getting solar panels for landed properties, ensure that your roof is able to uphold an entire solar panel system.

Subsequently, a junction box that protects the solar panel’s wiring from damage is then installed. It is designed to keep the electricity flow going and prevent it from going in the opposite direction. This is actually key in preventing a solar panel from consuming energy when it isn’t producing electricity.

Finally, each solar panel is rigorously tested under the Standard Test Conditions (STC) to ensure that it reaches its projected output, efficiency, and everything else that the manufacturer promises.

Beyond the technicalities, the most important thing to note is that these components all come together to create a unique piece of technology that helps reduce energy expenditure and carbon emissions. Ready to embrace a limitless source of energy? Check out Perry Management Clean Energy for reliable and efficient residential solar panels.

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