A solar panel, also know as a PV panel or module, is a device that collect sunlight and converts it into electric current.
They are called “solar” panels because most of the time, the most powerful source of light available is the Sun, called Sol by astronomers. Some scientists call them photovoltaics which means, basically, “light-electricity”.
The Sun is not only a truly reliable and lasting energy source but also a very cost-effective and efficient one, if the chosen types of solar panels and the environment are perfectly matched to one another. In light of this, we will be looking at different types of Solar Panel, their advantages and disadvantages.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels (Mono-SI) – These types of panels are called “monocrystalline” because the silicon used is single-crystal silicon.
– high life-time value
-High efficiency rate;
– best for commercial use;
One major disadvantage of Monocrystalline Solar Panels is that it is very expensive.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels (p-Si) – These are high purity Panels using low-pressure chemical-vapour deposition reactors at high temperatures.
– The process used to make polycrystalline silicon is simpler and cost less.
– The amount of waste silicon is less compared to monocrystalline.
-Polycrystalline solar panels tend to have slightly lower heat tolerance than monocrystalline solar panels.
Disadvantages of Polycrystalline Solar Panels are- sensitive to high temperatures; lower lifespan and slightly less space efficiency.
Thin-Film: Amorphous Silicon Solar Panels (A-SI)
Amorphous silicon (a-Si or a-Si:H) solar cells belong to the category of silicon thin-film, where one or several layers of photovoltaic material are deposited onto a substrate. They are relatively low cost; easy to produce and flexible. They have shorter lifespan.
Concentrated PV Cell (CVP) – In Concentrating Photovoltaics (CPV), a large area of sunlight is focused onto the solar cell with the help of an optical device by concentrating sunlight onto a small area.
-requires less photovoltaic material to capture the same sunlight as non-concentrating pv.
-makes the use of high-efficiency but expensive multi-junction cells economically viable due to smaller space requirements.
-the optical system comprises standard materials, manufactured in proven processes. Thus, it is less dependent on the immature silicon supply chain. Moreover, optics are less expensive than cells.