Features Of Solar Panels
Solar panels have been mass produced for over 50 years but have not seen their popularity at levels they are today. When originally pioneered, solar panels were seen as being a purely green and environmentally product; while this is still the case, they are now being seen as a way to generate free power and save money on energy bills which are continually on the rise. Solar power is seen as the most efficient and productive of all renewable energy sources and features of solar panels are a big reason why.
Features of solar photovoltaic panels
The features of solar panels that are photovoltaic give them excellent benefits for owners, both environmentally and financially. Solar photovoltaic systems (also known as solar PV) are able to generate electricity by harnessing some of the suns energy. Panels are made up a large number of individual cells each of which is made up of two layers of semiconducting material. Cells generate electricity upon contact with sunlight and will continue to work even on daylight.
There are four main types of solar cell, each has different levels of efficiency and will be priced to reflect this. The four types are:
Another of the beneficial features of solar panels is the fact they are very low maintenance and cause no harm at all to the environment. Panels generally come with a 25 year guarantee and can be expected to last much longer than that, over that time they require little maintenance and all that is required is that they are not obstructed.
- Hybrid- the most efficient of all at over 17% (in terms of the amount of the sun’s energy is used)
- Monocrystalline- has efficiency levels of around 13%-17%
- Polycrystalline- has efficiency levels of 11%-15%
- Amorphous silicon- this type of cell generally has single figure efficiency and is more commonly seen in calculators and low volt lighting.
All solar panels come with a standout feature; the ability to constantly produce power. Solar power is a completely renewable source and they are guaranteed to work as long as the sun remains in the sky.
Features of solar thermal panels
The features of solar panels that are able to heat water also give excellent benefits to owners. Solar thermal panels are designed to heat water which is stored in a large cylinder; this can be done in two different ways. Panels are either flat plate which can be fixed to tiles or integrated into the roof or evacuated tubes which are fixed onto tiles. Both types of panel use sunlight to heat the water which is stored in the cylinder, the water can then be heated further and to the required temperature with a boiler or immersion heater.
The features of solar panels which are designed to heat water are similar to solar PV panels although they are much smaller in size and do not require as much roof space in which to be installed. Solar thermal systems are also low maintenance and are able to function all year round.