Did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy launched the Solar Energy Research Institute in 1977? The facility focuses on harnessing power from the sun.
Using solar panels to create a sustainable home has been in the works for generations. These days you can even pick and choose between different types of solar panels.
So, keep reading to find out more about the three main types of solar panels that exist today.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
When manufacturing monocrystalline silicon solar panels the Czochralski method is the most popular choice. Through this method, a small crystal of silicon is inserted into a molten vat of pure silicon at an extremely high temperature. This method forms a silicon crystal called an ingot.
Once an ingot forms it is sliced into thin wafers that get used in the solar modules.
While monocrystalline solar panels are one of the main types of solar panels, there is a variety of them. Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact cells are one of the more popular monocrystalline options. Bifacial solar panels are another type of monocrystalline that is gaining traction in the solar panel world.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Like monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline panels are also made of silicon solar cells. The main difference is that during the process, many crystals form instead of a signal ingot.
Polycrystalline panels are a popular choice for residential homes. When installing solar panels on your home or even your RV, it is also a good idea to do some research on battery types.
You can read here how to decide between lithium or lead-acid batteries.
Thin-Film Solar Panels
Most thin-film solar panels use cadmium telluride. To make these panels, the manufacturer places a layer of the material between transparent layers. The transparent layers help capture sunlight.
A glass layer can also be added to these panels for added protection from the elements. The glass also prevents dust and debris from getting into the panel.
Thin-film solar panels can also use amorphous silicon, which is similar to the composition of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. The silicon is used in the solar panel composition by placing non-crystalline silicon on top of glass, plastic, or metal.
Lastly, thin-film solar panels can use Copper Indium Gallium Selenide. Copper Indium Gallium Selenide panels are created by placing all four elements between two conductive layers. Electrodes are then placed on the front and the back of the material for the electric currents.
Types of Solar Panels Explained
Understanding the different types of solar panels will help you pick the best solar panels for your needs. Just remember if you have any questions regarding panel installation, batteries, or harnessing solar energy it might be best to discuss your needs with professional solar panel installers.
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