Over time with the high usage of the earth’s nonrenewable energy resources, it’s getting to a worrisome stage where it is calculated to have scarce resources within the upcoming century as the time it takes to build up is high compared to the modern-day usage.
Solar panel technology has started tackling it by opting for its usage in homes, offices, industries, and other sites, but what’s so special about them?
What are solar panels made of, and what are the materials used in solar panels that let them replace the other sources?
Being costly yet effective in providing safe and eco-friendly energy generation, solar panels utilize sun energy to power up the solar panel to generate electricity.
Solar panels are constructed using various parts and materials that combine to get you a ready-to-use Voltaic cell panel or solar panel. Follow the guide to get detailed insight into the query!
What Are Solar Panels Made Of:
Solar panels are composed of voltaic cell sheets of various natures and materials sandwiched or polymerized between ethylene vinyl acetate layers that act as encapsulation to keep the sheet safe from moisture and high temperature.
At the same time, tough tempered glass and the Aluminum frame are installed on the front side above the EVA.
In contrast, on the rear side after the EVS film, a small waterproof junction box with a diode and multiple connections exists and all layers combined lead to a fully constructed solar panel.
What Is Solar Panel Or Photo Voltaic Module?
Due to the excessive use of earth resources, especially nonrenewable ones, it’s clear that the sources can get scarce.
Still, solar energy is a source available throughout life, and to make it useful, the solar panel does the job.
Solar panels or PV panels are modules with built-in photovoltaic cells that help capture the sun’s rays and convert the sun’s heat energy into electrical output for general-purpose usage.
They resemble glass or windows containing a photovoltaic sheet, the solar panel’s main capturing and conversion unit.
So being the most innovative and modern-day need technology to be used for actively converting electricity in all perspectives, whether homes, industries, or general usage.
Solar Panels Construction:
Constructing a solar panel would require six main parts/ layers or components necessary for the proper buildup of a high-quality solar panel.
To know what are solar panels made of, you need to examine the parts and construction flowchart to get to the main mechanism.
The parts are enlisted below with the order of placement.
Parts And layers:
- Top Aluminum extruded frame
- 3 – 3.5 mm thick and high-quality glass
- Encapsulation layer through EVA film layers
- Solar cell sheet
- Second Encapsulation layer through EVA film layers
- Diodes and connectors containing Junction box
Extruded Aluminum Protective Frame:
The topmost layer is an extruded aluminum frame that acts as a protective covering to keep the inner solar panel or cell sheet safe from all environmental conditions and extreme weather.
The aluminum frame is constructed lightweight and helps to cover the whole panel to laminate it properly, giving strength and abiding nature to tackle harsh stress conditions with ease because usually solar panels are incorporated on the top of housing or industries, making them more prone to environmental stress that needs to be reduced up to a minimum.
The frame sometimes needs to be secured properly to add stiffness to the whole panel.
Thick And High-Quality Glass:
In case of high temperatures, the Aluminum frame may not be enough to abide all the stress alone, so for that purpose, the panel is constricted with another protective layer made of tough tempered glass having 3 to 4 mm thickness to provide.
Additional safety to the panel from getting damaged by hailstones or excess temperature range, usually in summers when the sun behaves like a blazing body.
The other beneficial aspect of the glass is that its construction is different from standard glass, and in case of glass breakage due to any issue, the resultant pieces aren’t as sharp and edgy as the normal glass.
Because of its safe nature, it gets its place in constructing solar panels.
EVA Film Layers:
In a Solar panel, the main part is the voltaic cell, which is the powerhouse for generating electricity.
When the panel is manufactured, this sheet is used to cover up the panel. Still, before placing it in the glass and aluminum sheet to keep it safe.
Hence, it requires additional safety, use an elastic, stress-free, anti-UV copolymer of ethylene vinyl acetate layering on both sides to keep them secure, and free from shocks, humidity, and extreme temperature condition.
EVA layer is most commonly used for solar panels.
It is opted by the name of EVA encapsulate that is first polymerized when added on the panel up to 150 degrees centigrade, ending up bonding with the solar cell sheet both on the front and rear side.
After that, the other additional coverings are incorporated into it to make it a tough and strong nature, and the best quality panel.
Solar Cell Sheet:
Getting to the main part, the solar panel sheet without which shows and panel are not imagined because it is the prime “heart part” that is required for the generation of electricity by photovoltaic cells that capture the sun rays and convert the heat energy into electrical energy for carrying out for powering out devices based on the cell type and the Silicon used in the solar panel will determine its performance and durability.
- Monocrystalline mono and cast mono
- Thin film/ amorphous silicone
Among the types, the monocrystalline solar panel is highly efficient and rates 20% more than another polycrystalline that lies somewhat near to the monocrystalline, offering a 17% rating. Besides the crystalline types, others are less efficient compared to them.
You need to check the type before purchasing, as the type will determine the performance to use for powering the desired site.
Diodes and Connectors / Junction Box:
The last part of constructing a solar panel involves a waterproof junction box that contains a diode and connections for direct connecting a solar cell sheet on its back with the interface comprising conductor ribbons and DC cables.
Simply, it’s the connecting point of all the solar cell clusters.
With a bypass diode, the manufacturers ensure safety and one-way current direction to eliminate current backflow.
But remember, proper maintenance and monthly checkout will ensure its functionality, as being prone to stress damage may wear them out.
What Are the Materials Used In Solar Panels:
Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells:
Monocrystalline Silicon Solar cell comprises Silicon made of a single large crystal; this material is used mostly in solar cells to get high efficiency.
Poly Crystalline Solar Cell:
Less costly than mono, but efficiency-wise, the rating is a bit less, ranging from 17 %, still better than other materials.
III-V Semiconductor Solar Cells:
The semiconductor solar cell comprises alloys from groups 3 and 5 of the periodic table. It is one of the best materials to be used instead of Silicon, but the technology it offers is too costly.
Thin Film/Amorphous Silicon:
Flexible and thin amorphous Silicon with x 40 times capacity to absorb solar energy is the other material to be opted for voltaic cell sheet to carry out solar power generation.
The best part is the solar panel won’t require additional crystal vibration for light absorption. Efficiency-wise, it offers an 11% rating.
Copper-Indium Gallium Diselenide:
Copper-indium gallium diselenide is favored to have high optical absorption when opted in a solar panel.
By combining gallium, the band energy gets high and makes the material best for opting in a solar panel.
Home junctions of material are less efficient and do require another material.
With an ideal band gap of 1.44 EV, the CdTe is another material to be best incorporated into the solar panel to generate safe and clean electricity, but the material is limited to dope.
Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell:
Incorporating liquid dye ruthenium metal-organic into the solar panel is a functional and less costly method of manufacturing solar panels.
Organic or polymer materials:
Being new material, it offers the use of polyphenylene vinylene (PPV), small traces of phthalocyanines, squareness, and polyacenes in the solar panel.
However, the efficiency is still not that high, ranging at 10%, and the product still needs more data to commercialize.
If you want to know more, watch this video.
Renewablecop is is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more