Understand Solar Panels and How They Work

Posted on 24th June 2011 in environment

Solar power is a good green source of energy and a serious option to consider for your energy needs. Other options such as wind turbines and hydroelectric generator can be used in but for most homes and smaller business solar is one of the most achievable options.

solar pv Scotland

Solar panels and solar power generates power from the sun by converting sunlight to electricity with no moving parts, zero emissions, and no or little maintenance. A solar panel is made up of a series of individual silicon cells that generate electricity from sunlight. As the light hits the surface of the solar panel the light particles produce an electrical current on the surface of small silicon wafers. One single solar cell produces around half a volt of energy.

Smaller solar panels can produce up to 12 volts of energy. These smaller panels contain an average of 36 solar cells. Large solar panels will produce up to 24 volts of energy. These will contain around 72 solar cells.

Solar panels can be wired together to create a bank of panels and increase the amount of energy you can harness. This gives the advantage of using a higher voltage output so the solar panels can use smaller wire to transfer the electric power from the solar panel to the output, charging batteries for example.

Solar panels come in different types. One is a Monocrystalline solar panels. These are most efficient but the most expensive solar panels made. The solar cells use very pure type of silicon and use a complicated growth process for the silicon crystals.

The middle ground for solar panels is possibly Polycrystalline. This type of panel is sometimes called Multi-crystalline solar panels as they consist of a range of Polycrystalline cells. This form of solar panel is less expensive and less efficient than the type using Monocrystalline cells. This is down to the fact that the cells are not grown in a large block of many crystals.

The Amorphous solar panel is not made from crystals like other types of panel. These are metal or glass coated with a layer or silicon to create the solar panel. Amorphous solar panels are in the bracket of the cheaper type of panel, as they are less expensive than other types. This type of solar panel is less energy efficiency so more are needed to generate the same amount of energy as more expensive alternatives.

Solar panels are a real option and a potentially good investment to help save money and energy. After the installation and set up costs that can be expensive and off putting, the payback will work for itself. For homes and small business solar is a real solution to meet the demands of trying to find lower costs energy and reduce your energy bills.

Richard I. Green is an expert on solar panels Scotland and renewable and wind energy. For more information on solar panels and solar pv visit the www.absolutesolarandwind.co.uk and web site.