Table Of Contents

Solar: The Latest Green Technology On The Block

The world is working towards becoming more sustainable. But a big part of this is changing the way we use energy. We should not just be solely dependent on fossil fuels, so alternative power sources are being explored. Solar panels are a great example of these green technologies and one that many people are using to generate their renewable energy.

Solar panels can be used to power homes and businesses and provide electricity for cars in some areas. The benefits of having solar panels are huge: they're easy to install, they don't produce any harmful emissions, and they can last up to 25 years! This article will teach you everything you need to know about solar panels, so keep reading!

What Are Solar Panels?

Solar panels are specially designed devices that convert the sun's energy into electricity. The technology is relatively new, but there are already more than one million homes in the world that have installed solar panels.

Solar panel manufacturing comprises photovoltaic cells that capture light and turn it into current electricity. This current can then be converted into AC or DC power and charge various electronic devices, heat water, or even power cars!

What Are Solar Panels Made Of?

Solar panels are manufactured in various shapes and sizes to suit their intended purposes. The solar panel size is dictated by its intended use or considerations such as cost, weight, and efficiency. The larger a panel is, the more surface area it has and the more energy it can produce.

The power produced by a solar panel varies based on how much light falls onto that particular solar panel. Generally speaking, as the distance between a solar panel and the sun increases, so will the power of that PV module. The solar panels are made of solar cells, which are usually silicon-based and can be found in two different types: monocrystalline or polycrystalline.

There are three different subclasses of solar panels: crystalline silicon cells, monocrystalline cells, and thin-film cells. Thin-film cells have been shown to generate less electricity per unit area of silicon than the other types of cells. However, they are cheaper to manufacture because the silicon doesn't need to be cut as thinly.

There are two basic ways to make the solar panels found in homes and the industry:

  • Thin-film
  • Thin-cell

Thin-film

The thin-film panels are made of polycrystalline silicon, while the thin-cell technology is composed of a chemically deposited semiconductor. The majority of solar panels today have a silicon wafer as their substrate. Silicon is one of the most prevalent and abundant materials on earth.

This allows for economies of scale and lowers costs for panel production. However, because the silicon wafer is only a few micrometres thick, it is limited in its ability to convert solar radiation into usable electricity.

The critical component of a photovoltaic cell is the semiconductor junction between two conductive materials: silicon and indium-gallium-phosphide (InGaP). The two thin-film panels use less material and can be made in large sheets, making them cheaper, but their efficiency is relatively low compared to thin cells.

Thin-cell

The thin and lightweight solar cells will collect more sunlight to produce more electricity than their counterparts. Flexible and lightweight solar cells are ideal for building-integrated solar panels and in flat panel-type light sources.

The Most Important Component In A Solar Cell

The most important component in a solar cell is the silicon crystal. A solar cell is a device that converts energy from light into electrical current. This process is known as the (PV) photovoltaic effect. The most commonly used cells are made of silicon because it has the highest theoretical solar-to-electric efficiency among all semiconductors, and it is inexpensive and common in abundance.

The solar cell consists of four main parts: an n-type and a p-type semiconductor, an electron blocking layer, and an electron-emitting layer. The first three types of cells (consisting of the pn junction) were developed first and were the most efficient at converting solar energy into electrical current.

In 1839 Georg Simon Ohm estimated that a cell with an ohmic resistance of one could produce 1 Vault when exposed to 1 Watt of light intensity. The more technical term used to describe this phenomenon is the photovoltaic effect. The manufacturing process for photovoltaic cells depends on the type of silicon crystal used to create it. Silicon crystals come in two varieties; high-purity and polycrystalline.

High-purity silicon crystals are a single piece of silicon that is processed at high temperatures to make the crystalline structure very pure and homogeneous. This means that there is no evidence of other materials like oxygen, carbon, or other impurities. Silicon carbide (SiC) is a very hard ceramic material that is often used in high-impact applications such as drill bits and ball bearings.

The Different Silicon Crystals Used In Solar Cells

There are different types of silicon crystals used in solar cells. The material is added to a mixture of materials at the same time. Sunlight knocks electrons off the atoms, creating workable energy that can power a solar cell. The silicon atoms need to be excited with energy and then re-emitted with an electron. Different materials carry out these functions in the solar cell.

The light is reflected off the silicon surface and into a light-sensitive material, where it can be collected. Different materials are used in these processes that convert light energy into electrons or electricity. The metals used in these processes include copper and aluminium, while the semiconductors used are silicon and gallium. Electrons that are generated by these processes can be harvested in a few different ways.

The most common way is to use a semiconductor like silicon or gallium, which has more positive charges than the electrons it produces. This difference between the positive and negative charges produces an electric field that makes the electrons move to the region where the positive charges are concentrated.

Here's another way to think about it. The electric field pulls on the negatively charged electrons and the positively charged protons so that the electrons move towards the positive charges and the protons move toward the negative charges. The electric field pulls on the negatively charged electrons and the positively charged protons. The electrons move towards the positive charges, and the protons move toward the negative charges.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels work to convert light into energy. Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells, semiconductors that produce electricity when exposed to sunlight. The cells produce direct current (DC) electricity, which is then changed to alternating current (AC), used in homes and businesses.

The large blocks of solar panels you see on houses and businesses use a system of wireframes that creates an "array." A single solar panel is called a module. A module consists of several solar panels connected. These arrays can be installed on the ground or mounted on rooftops.

It is imperative to note that the way a solar panel works is quite simple: sunlight makes the electrons in the cells move to produce electricity. Different cells have different ways of converting the sun's energy, but they all work on the same principle. There are some great benefits to using these green sources of power, like the fact that they are easy to install and don't produce harmful emissions.

Solar Panel Efficiency And Longevity

A solar panel needs to be efficient enough to convert sunlight into usable electricity. Solar panels have a high-efficiency potential because they are wafer-thin, and it is easy to focus sunlight onto their surface. Many different factors contribute to the efficiency of a solar panel. For instance:

The angle of the solar panel

The most vital factor is the angle the panel faces. The efficiency of a solar panel is mainly dependent on the angle at which it meets. For example, if you are looking directly down at a solar panel, you will receive significantly less energy than if you are not. It also helps in reducing glare for people that live near these panels.

The tilt of the solar panel

The tilt determines how much light is collected by the solar panels. The angle of a solar panel can be measured in degrees or millimetres, depending on what is being measured.

Types Of Solar Panels And How They Are Used

Monocrystalline silicon solar cells

These are the most common type of solar panels, and they have a crystalline structure in which all the atoms are arranged in perfect rows. These panels are used on rooftops or other vertical surfaces as they can be effectively mounted.

Polycrystalline silicon solar cells

These are usually made up of smaller crystals or grains arranged in random patterns. The crystalline structure varies with each grain and can be patchy, making these panels less efficient than their monocrystalline counterparts.

Aluminium-coated glass

These are typically thin sheets of glass that have aluminium on one side and an oxide layer on the other. This technique can enhance the efficiency of a solar panel. What are the main differences between monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, and thin-film?

Monocrystalline silicon is pure, single-crystal silicon that has been heated to a very high temperature and then quickly cooled to retain its shape and crystalline structure. Polycrystalline silicon has a mixed crystalline structure with different sizes and crystals.

Thin film is made by depositing the semiconductor onto a substrate surface or intermediate layers.

Who Benefits From Solar Panels?

In a world that is more and more focused on sustainable energy, solar panels could be the next big thing. Not only does this green technology produce sustainable energy, but it can power homes and businesses as well. Here are the significant people and organisations that benefit from solar panels.

The primary beneficiaries of solar panel technology are homeowners. Homeowners can save on energy costs by installing solar panels on their property to take advantage of the sun's energy. The other perk is that they can generate electricity regardless of whether or not a power company provides clean energy nearby.

Farmers with these systems can grow crops, collect stormwater, and even make their energy. The hope is to grow and expand the program to urban areas eventually. Canada is not a leader in the solar industry. However, in 2015, it was announced that Canada had produced 11% of its electricity from renewable energy sources like solar power.

The problem with this is that the amount of electricity generated by these sources will only cover 2% of Canada's total energy consumption. Every little bit helps, right?

The Benefits Of Solar Panels

There are plenty of benefits for both homeowners and business owners regarding solar panels. First of all, they're easy to install — you don't need to hire someone else to do the installation for you. Once installed, solar panels take up very little space on your property. They also have very low maintenance requirements and can last 25 years or more!

This means that solar panels will save you money in the long term because you won't need to keep replacing them like traditional energy sources. And did we mention they don't produce any emissions? If you join a group buying program, installing solar panels might help offset some of your monthly bills!

The Pros Of Solar Panels In Australia

  • Solar panels are a renewable source of energy that can offset your power consumption and reduce your electricity bill in Australia.
  • Solar panels can provide you with clean, environmentally-friendly power to power a wide range of appliances, from lights to refrigerators and washing machines.
  • Solar panels can be installed on the roof or ground level for residential and commercial properties.
  • Solar panels are particularly beneficial in Australia, which has a long day length because they generally provide between 10-12 hours of power per day (depending on where you live).
  • The cost of solar panels has dropped significantly over the past few years as more manufacturers have been producing them.  
  • There has been a significant decrease in the price of solar power, particularly over the past few years.
  • The cost of solar panels will decrease significantly as more manufacturers produce them.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Australia?

The average cost of solar panels in Australia is usually around $9,000. Many people see solar panels as an investment rather than just a cost. Solar panels can be leased in some areas, making them affordable for more people. For example, if you live in New South Wales or Queensland and have a rooftop that faces south to southeast, you may be able to lease your solar panels from the Government.

On average, you'll pay $2 per watt and make monthly payments of about $30 per month. This means that you'll pay off your solar panels in nearly ten years!

Australian Vs. Overseas Solar Panels

The Australian Government currently subsidises the purchase of solar panels through a scheme called the Federal and State Solar Incentives. This scheme offers rebates for residential and commercial solar. A surcharge finances the rebate to all electricity bills, which started in July 2012.

As of December 2018, Australian solar panels carry a suggested retail price of $5212 per megawatt, around half the global average. The German Government supports the energy transition by supporting innovative technologies like renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. This support starts with funding research and development in universities, companies, and government-supported institutes.

It also includes financial institutions' involvement to finance renewable energy projects and help establish innovative energy companies. Germany's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently announced that the German Government would provide €9 billion in grants to develop new renewable energy projects worldwide.

The program, called Renewable Energy Global Investors Guarantee (RENEW), will help finance more than 230 renewable energy investments with a combined value of more than $6.8 billion, the fund said. The program will provide long-term financing for renewable energy projects in developing nations, including India and Chile.

What Is The Best Type Of System For Your Home?

There are a few different solar power systems, with some more suitable for certain types of homes. The "grid-tied" solar panels are the least expensive but have high energy consumption and aren't great for small to medium homes. Though grid-tie solar is the cheapest option, it's not always the best choice.

It would be best to consider a solar system connected to the grid when you have a large roof or if you're planning on staying put for an extended period. If this sounds like what you're looking for, we recommend a solar PV system. Solar PV systems are the most expensive and offer the highest efficiency and most significant return on investment for your home.

Where Should You Install A Solar Panel?

Firstly, determine where you want to put your solar panel. The rooftop is recommended, or an open land area closest to the house. If your home has a south-facing roof, it's perfect for installing solar panels because they will receive the most sunlight here.

You should install solar panels on your property to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and produce energy for yourself. It makes sense financially, too - you're not dependent on utility companies anymore, which means lower monthly bills.

What Is The Ideal Roof For Solar Panels?

Solar panels are placed on the roof of a building as they allow for energy collection when the sun is shining. Solar panels work by collecting direct solar radiation and converting it into electricity.

The amount of electricity generated depends on the size, materials, and orientation of the solar panel. Still, generally speaking, a 6-kilowatt system requires about 1 square metre of solar panel to generate 7,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

Is It Worth It Investing In Solar Panels?

A single solar panel can provide enough power to meet the needs of an entire family. Solar panels are an excellent way to save money on your energy bills. A single solar panel can provide enough power to meet the needs of an entire family. In the past, solar panels were an expensive investment for most people.

Today, prices have dropped significantly, and solar panel installation has become more manageable. Is it worth investing in an off-grid system? Does it save money? Yes, it is worth investing in solar power for your home or business. This is what it means to be "off-grid".

An off-grid system is when the energy comes from an outside source such as a wind turbine or solar panels, and utilities don't get involved. This definitely sounds great in the long haul for your pockets. So, if the "off-grid" lifestyle sounds right for you, why not take some time to contact a reputable solar installer to get your solar system up and running at light speed.