Solar plates, what are they and how do they work?

The use of photovoltaic panels has grown more and more, solar panels are fundamental elements for the process of generating solar energy. In this article, we will clarify some doubts, such as: what they are for, where they are used, how they are produced, characteristics, and the main type of plates used. Come on, guys!

Solar energy is a clean, renewable source of energy, has no noise whatsoever and is inexhaustible, which makes it a source of energy for the future and which is growing more and more. It is a profitable investment in the long term and because it does not harm the environment it has been adopted in homes, industries, and commercial establishments.

Solar panels are produced from a very abundant element, silicon, which became the raw material in the construction of solar panels, being extracted and exploited in different ways, such as monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous.

In addition to silicon, other alternative materials have been tested to be applied in the assembly of this energy source, such as thin-film cells, where the manufacturing process requires a lower cost, but with the disadvantage of its energy efficiency being very low compared to to silicon.

Operation of solar panels.

There are two types of solar panels, one of which uses sunlight only for heating, most often by heating water. This plate consists of a dark surface, responsible for absorbing the sun’s energy and transforming it into heat.

The other type of solar plate is used to generate electricity, as it converts the sun’s energy directly into electricity. It is composed of solar cells, made of semiconductor materials, are called photovoltaic cells.

It generates energy when the particles of sunlight, photons, collide with the atoms of these materials, causing the displacement of electrons, thus generating the electric current, used to charge a battery for example.

Solar panels that transform sunlight into electricity are electrical generators that are increasingly used in electronic devices, homes and satellites. But it is good to remember that photovoltaic plates do not store energy, they just maintain the flow of electrons.

Those that transform sunlight into heat are generally used in homes to heat water for showers and taps.

There are several models of photovoltaic panels on the market, such as monocrystalline, polycrystalline, amorphous silicon, in addition to thin-film and hybrid ones.

Monocrystalline solar panels.

Monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic panel.

Monocrystalline technology is the oldest and most expensive of all panels, it differs from the others in that it has a uniform color, where it indicates the high purity of silicon, in addition to having its rounded corners, they are made from just one shaped silicon. cylindrical, which is sliced ​​thus creating individual sheets that are treated and transformed into photovoltaic cells, are cut in this way to minimize the size and take advantage of each space available on the board, its durability is over 30 years.

Polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic panel.

The main difference between the polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels is the melting of the crystals, wherein the polycrystalline process the crystals are fused in blocks, thus preserving the formation of multiple crystals.

After melting into blocks, they are placed in squares and sliced ​​into cells, as in monocrystalline, thus they are similar to those of a single crystal (monocrystalline), both in performance and degradation. However, they are a little less efficient, have low cost and their durability is over 30 years.

Solar film panel.

Thin-fil panels are basically made up of several thin layers of photovoltaic material on a substrate, so some technologies can reach an efficiency of approximately 16%, compared to polycrystalline plates.

Because they are manufactured on a large scale, which has advantages, since they come out at lower prices, have a good appearance, can be flexible and withstand high temperatures.

Amorphous silicon panel.

Because they are low in electricity production, they were used in smaller equipment, such as pocket calculators. Nowadays with technological advances and innovations, they can be used with a stacking technique, where several layers of amorphous silicon solar cells can be combined, which ends up increasing its efficiency, however little, not exceeding 10% efficiency.

Hybrid solar panel

Hybrid panels use a technology where their efficiency can reach 20%, in their manufacturing process they are similar to monocrystalline photovoltaic panels, but they have some differences, one of which is the passivation with the amorphous silicon layer, among other differences.

This panel produces more energy per square meter, it also works very well with higher temperatures, this way, which makes this technology ideal for Brazil, but unfortunately, these panels are not yet available on the market.