What are Solar Panels
Introduction to Solar Panels
Solar panels are basically panels made from silicon that gather the sun’s rays and then convert that power in to electricity. The panels are built up of a collection of cells and the more light that hits the cells, the more electricity that can then be produced.
How They are Made
Solar panels can be used for a wide range of appliances and are not limited to just being used on the roof of a house. They are even used on spacecraft’s in order to help operate the sensors on the spacecraft. They are installed onto cars to help lessen the air pollution. The uses of solar panels are pretty much limitless.
- Crystalline silicon - Creating crystalline silicon solar panels involves cutting the crystalline silicon in to disks measuring less than a centimetre thick. These thin disks are then polished up and repaired if they have received any scratches during the cutting process. Once this process has been completed the disks are then covered in dopants and metal conductors. These get spread across each of the disks. The conductors are placed in a grid-like fashion on top of the solar panels. A thin layer of glass is then used to cover the solar panels to prevent any damage happening to the panels. These completed solar panels are then attached using cement that helps to stop the panels from overheating.
- Amorphous silicon - Amorphous silicon cells are the most powerful of the two solar panel types. These are made in a continuous roll to roll process adding multiple thin layers together. Each layer that is created is designed to do a particular job within the solar panel. Some amorphous silicon solar panels also have added components to allow them to work well in shaded areas or areas with less light than normal.
General Appliances that can be Powered by Solar
Water heaters - Solar panels can not only be used to generate electricity but can also now be used to heat water in the home. A back-up heater can be used in order to create extra heat during the winter months.
Batteries - There are miniature solar panels available solely for the purpose of charging batteries. These can quickly and easily be used as and when they are needed to charge lithium batteries.
Mobile phone chargers - Everybody at some point has needed their mobile phone only to find the battery is nearly empty. There are miniature solar panels that can keep this from happening as they store the energy in a lithium battery although it will take up to 10 hours of charge time to fill the battery.
IPod chargers - More people are using iPods nowadays and this brought a whole new way of using solar panels. You can now buy solar powered chargers for many models of iPods.
There are new ways of using solar panels to lessen costs popping up all the time. There are literally hundreds of pounds a year that can be saved just from implementing a few changes to how we generate electricity.