Solar modules are the heart of your photovoltaic installation. Find out more about solar panel costs and solar panel prices, solar moduels efficiency, solar modules quality and correct solar modules installation in our comprehensive overview.
- Crystalline panels - mono are the work horses
- Bifacial panels – capturing the light on both sides
- Thin-film solar panels – advantageous in case of heat and shading
- The price alone is not everything
- Prefer strong brands and read the small print
- Leave it – not just the panels – to the professionals
1. Crystalline panels - mono are the work horsesThe source material of crystalline solar cells is quartz sand (silicon oxide). This is reconditioned, melted, cast into ingots and cut into slices (wafers). From these the silicon cells are then cut at a thickness of 100 to 180 micrometres. They convert light to electricity.
The crystals in polycrystalline cells have an irregular structure and a blue sheen. Monocrystalline cells are black and consist of one single crystal. They allow for a better electricity yield but are more expensive to produce. For protection, the solar cells are imbedded in plastic foil, covered in safety glass and framed in aluminium. Some panels have a pane of glass on either side (double-glass panels), however, most have a solid sheet of plastic at the back. The rear of the panel also includes a connector with clamps.
Polycrystalline solar cells currently achieve efficiency of up to 20 percent, up to 18 percent as part of a solar panel. Monocrystalline cells now allow yields of up to 23 percent, monocrystalline solar panels achieve up to 19 percent efficiency. However, ventilation is important to avoid great losses in output due to overheating from too much sunlight. At the moment polycrystalline solar panels for rooftop installations produce up to 265 watts, decent monocrystalline solar panels up to 350 watts.(Back to top)