Sunday, April 27, 2014

232- Which Type of Solar Panel Is for You?

Which Type of Solar Panel Is for You?

Which Type of Solar Panel Is for You?

Utilisation of solar power has come a long way since Edmond Becquerel, in 1839, discovered how to convert light into electricity. 


As solar power is being used increasingly across the globe (it is responsible for 100 gigawatts of global power production in 2012!), it makes sense that we learn how solar power can be harvested and used in our homes.

Solar power is mainly harvested through solar panel systems. Solar panel systems, in turn, are made up of solar cells. These cells are manufactured using the element silicon (Si), which are also used in making computer processors.

Mono, poly or thin-film?

In most situations, the factors considered in choosing which solar panel type to use are space and cost. So whether you're looking for residential solar power kits or wholesale solar power for commercial use, your choice basically boils down to these three:

Monocrystalline. 

Most of the solar panels manufactured in the world today have cells that are made of silicon. Monocrystalline silicon solar cells, which are made of highly-pure silicon, are very efficient especially in highly sunny climates, both in terms of converting light into electricity and use of space. They also tend to last the longest among the types. One drawback however is that monocrystalline silicon solar cells are also the most expensive.

Polycrystalline. 

Polycrystalline silicon solar cells are simpler and less expensive to make. They are most effective in cloudy climates and draw more efficient power when full sun days are less common.

Thin-Film (aka Amorphous). 

Thin-film solar cells can be mass-produced very simply, reducing cost. Where space is not a constraint, or panels need to follow a curved structure (instead of flat), thin-film solar cells make sense. However, this 'advantage' does not make them ideal in residential solar power kits. Why? Because they are highly inefficient compared to Mono and Poly Panels, thus need to be much larger in size to achieve the same power. (For example, a 5W Mono/Poly panel can be 5 times smaller than a Thin Film!).

Why go solar

A 2013 global status report tells us, "Renewable energy is spreading to new regions and countries and becoming increasingly affordable in developing and developed countries alike." In our experience, this is especially true - we have witnessed how going solar can transform even the remotest village in a developing country! So aside from cost and space constraints, there are very few reasons for not going solar, especially in community or commercial setups.



Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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