They became the new Hollywood star for clean energy, but how is solar panel made? In this article, you can find some details and techniques that can help you understand this innovation.
If you’re more interested in how it works (and not to produce one on your own), please read the section on how it works, below the guide.
Making a solar panel step-by-step
The solar energy technology is, at the same time, revolutionary and simple. In a smaller scale, you can manufacture a home-made solar panel. This video show in details how can you build it. Below, you can check how it works.
Materials: What is solar panel made of?
Here’s the materials list of a solar panel.
- 2 millimeters of tabbing wire
- 5 millimeters of solding wire
- Flux pen
- Strapping tape
- Regular tape
- Solder iron (60/80w)
- Multimeter (Volts and Amps)
sillicone paste-like seal (UV christaline)
- ‘Clear’ Eposxy resin (40 ounces/3.5 pounds/1 kg)
- Epoxy hardener (2 epoxy resin + 1 hardener)
- Untabbed cells (polycrystalline solar cells
- pre tabbed cells (solar cells that have tabbing wire already attached).
How to make a solar panel: step by step
First of all, it is necessary to keep in mind that the most commonly used material for developing a solar panel are photovoltaic cells.
Because the manufacturing of these cells relies on processes that can only be carried out industrially, they must be purchased, and their quantity varies according to how much energy you want to produce.
Finally comes the most difficult moment of the process: connecting your photovoltaic panel system, which demands a good understanding of electricity.
To do this you must connect the cells in series, always soldering the positive connection to the negative wire of the next cell until a voltage of 12 or 24 volts is reached. After this step, carefully place the cells on the board, creating holes for each wire.
Before turning on your system, be sure to measure the amperage and voltage, making sure that the ammeter has the rated power shown on the solar cells.
How does a solar panel work?
As solar energy has become a great alternative energy source, it is natural that there are some doubts and even some misgivings along the way.
This renewable energy source is great for being a green energy and for bringing lifetime savings to your energy bills.
The solar panel works through the photovoltaic effect
In short, the photovoltaic effect happens when an electric current is induced.
This process takes place within the structure of a semiconductor material when this material is exposed to particular energy (photons) from electromagnetic radiation (sunlight).
Solar energy plates are composed of several photovoltaic cells, which are made of this semiconductor material. Most often this material is silicon.
When sunlight shines on the solar panel, the photons energize the electrons in the silicon, causing them to move through the layers of the plate and create a continuous electric current, which we call solar energy.
How is solar panel made?
The production of a panel is delicate and ingenious work, in this guide you can understand more about the mechanics of building these plates.
For a solar panel, each photovoltaic cell is carefully placed in series, one after the other.
These solar cells are connected by means of an extremely thin conductive strip.
This strip is woven from top to bottom, so that all the cells in the solar panel are connected together to form a circuit – and this is how solar energy works.
After this first step, the photovoltaic cells are covered with a sheet of non-stick, anti-reflective, tempered glass and finally framed by an aluminum frame.
At the back of the solar panels there are two conductors, used to connect the photovoltaic plates together to form a series of solar energy panels.
This series is what we usually see on rooftops or solar power farms, which are joined together into one large plate.
How the solar panel photovoltaic cell is made
The solar panel cell is made from semiconductor materials, usually mono- and polycrystalline silicon and amorphous silicon.
When photons strike the cell surface, electrons present in the cell atoms are released and move to an electron-free region of the plate, creating an electric current.
In this way, since each panel has a large number of these cells, ranging from 36 to 72 cells connected in series by each plate, the set of panels can generate enough electricity to power your home’s electricity system.
Efficiency of solar panels
Solar energy has seen essential improvements in recent years, making it possible for you to use solar panels for your home, as has been the case throughout the USA.
Thanks to government incentives in research, the power-generating capacity of solar panels has been optimized.
The efficiency of each panel is measured by its power generation during 1 hour per square meter.
For example, if a photovoltaic cell is capable of producing 180 Watts per 1m² in 1 hour, we say that its efficiency is 18%.
There is no exact number to determine the efficiency of a solar panel because it depends:
- The material the plate is made from
- The environmental conditions, such as the incidence of sun exposure at the installation site.
Below you can see a table with the efficiency percentages of each semiconductor material used in the construction of the plate:
|Material||Efficiency||In a very simple way|
|PERC Monocrystalline||20,2 – 21,6%||The most efficient solar panels|
|Polycrystalline PERC||17,8 – 19,9%||The least efficient solar panels|
Solar panel companies
Forbes made a very deep study about solar panels companies that worth your attention.
They were assessed according to many factors. Some of the points they took in considereation are: pricing, customer rating, warranty and power (in Watts).
Here’s the list of solar panel companies in the US:
Chosen because it’s installation is fast, affordable and easy in all 50 states. They also have a 25-year warranty for their solar panels. Check SunPower website.
This solar panel company has a 15 year experience in rooftop solar panels and they are partners with Buildpro Roofing Specialists. Check ADT Solar website.
Blue Raven Solar
Available in 17 U.S. states, they have one of the best customer reviews in all these ccompany. This solar energy company also promisses that you’re gonna be able to pay off the investiment by 18 months of use – super efficiency. Check Blue Raven Solar website.
This power brand is the one for who is looking for convenience. They will take care of the whole process, from drafting the blueprints to maintenance and replacement. Check Momentum Solar website.
Solar panels and climate change
If you’re not 100% sure about the impact of solar panels on climate change, we can guarantee.
Electric cars are cool and futurist, and the President already announced a bold goal: 50% of sold cars in 2030 must be electric. But, what’s the point if we’re not using green energy to fuel these vehicles?
Solar energy is affordable, there’s no waste, is renewable you can save money and even make some money selling the extra energy produced to other places.
Here in Hourglass we defend climate justice. We need to stop climate change now. So, if you’re considering to adopt solar energy, consider that you’re doing good not only for your family, but for all families all over the world.