A comparative overview of the different types of solar panels

Alternative Energy is developing the most in Europe, showing the results of their prospects. There are new types of solar panels, increasing their efficiency.

If desired, secure the work of an industrial building or premises at the expense of solar energy, it is necessary pre learn about the differences between equipment, to understand what solar panels are suitable for the climatic conditions particular region.

We will help you to understand this question. The article describes the working principle of photovoltaic cells, provides an overview of different types of solar cells with their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. After reviewing the material, you can make the right choice for arranging effective solar.

The content of the article:

  • Principle of operation of solar panels
  • Types of photovoltaic cells
  • Characteristics of the silicon-based panels
    • Monocrystalline silicon panel
    • Polycrystalline solar panels
    • Solar panel of amorphous silicon
  • Overview beskremnievyh devices
    • Solar panels of rare metals
    • Polymer and organic counterparts
  • What is a solar panel to choose?
  • Conclusions and useful videos on the topic

Principle of operation of solar panels

The vast majority of solar panels are in the physical sense of the photoelectric converters. Electrogenerating effect occurs at the site of a semiconductor p-n junction.

Scheme of the photovoltaic cell

Namely silicon wafers form the basis of the cost of the solar panels, but when used in as the clock source of electricity will additionally buy expensive storage batteries

The panel consists of two silicon wafers having different properties. Under the action of light in one of them there is a lack of electrons, and in the other - that their abundance. Each plate has a collector strips of copper, which are connected to voltage converters.

Industrial solar panel consists of a plurality of photovoltaic cells laminated, bonded together and attached to a flexible or rigid substrate.

equipment efficiency depends largely on the purity of the silicon crystal and its orientation. It is these parameters, engineers are trying to improve the last decade. The main problem here is the high cost of the processes that underlie the silicon purification and arrangement of crystals in one direction on the entire panel.

The maximum efficiency of solar panels

Every year, the maximum efficiency of various solar panels are changed in a big way, because in the study of new photovoltaic materials invested billions of dollars (+)

Semiconductors, photovoltaic cells can be made not only silicon, but also of other materials - Battery life principle It is not changed.

Types of photovoltaic cells

Classify industrial solar panels on their structural characteristics and working type photovoltaic layer.

Distinguish these types of batteries on the device type:

  • flexible panels;
  • rigid modules.

Flexible thin-film panels gradually occupy an increasingly important niche in the market thanks to its mounting flexibility, because you can install it on most surfaces with a variety of architectural forms.

Comparison of the working efficiency of solar panels

The actual characteristics of the solar panels are generally lower than those indicated in the instructions. Therefore, before installing them at home, it is desirable to see a similar project implemented

By working type photovoltaic layer of solar cells are divided into the following variations:

  1. Silicon: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, amorphous.
  2. Tellurium-cadmium.
  3. India is based on gallium selenide copper.
  4. Polymer.
  5. Organic.
  6. Based on gallium arsenide.
  7. Combined and multi-layered.

Interest for the general consumers are not all types of solar panels, but only the first two crystalline subspecies.

Although some other types of panels and have a great performance, but because of the high cost, they are not widespread.

image gallery

Photo of

An array of monocrystalline solar cells

Single-crystal panel can be easily guessed by a white square at the corners of the individual elements

The solar panel based on silicon polycrystals

Polycrystalline panels recommended to focus on the east and west, and the south side is better to buy monocrystalline module

Solar panel as a film

Thin-film solar panels are popular in the manufacture of portable solar tourist

Photovoltaic elements selenide, copper indium gallium

Solar panels with indium content is actively used on space satellites

Photocell based on gallium arsenide

Arsenic in solar cells with gallium arsenide becomes toxic only by direct contact with water

Solar panels with a layer of cadmium telluride

Solar panels of rare metals can be manufactured in any size and shape

Production of organic solar panels

Organic solar panels yet available for consumers due to lack of testing of technologies

Solar battery polyester

Polymer solar cells have low efficiency, therefore, the spread has not yet received

An array of monocrystalline solar cells

An array of monocrystalline solar cells

The solar panel based on silicon polycrystals

The solar panel based on silicon polycrystals

Solar panel as a film

Solar panel as a film

Photovoltaic elements selenide, copper indium gallium

Photovoltaic elements selenide, copper indium gallium

Photocell based on gallium arsenide

Photocell based on gallium arsenide

Solar panels with a layer of cadmium telluride

Solar panels with a layer of cadmium telluride

Production of organic solar panels

Production of organic solar panels

Solar battery polyester

Solar battery polyester

Silicon photovoltaic cells are sensitive to heat. The base temperature for the measurement of power generation is 25 ° C. With its increasing one degree panels efficiency decreases at 0.45-0.5%.

Next will be discussed the solar panels, which represent the largest consumer interest.

Characteristics of the silicon-based panels

Silicon solar cells made from quartz powder - milled quartz crystals. The richest deposits of raw materials are in Western Siberia and the Middle Urals, so the prospects for this area of ​​solar energy are virtually limitless.

Even now crystalline and amorphous silicon panels occupy more than 80% of the market. Therefore it is worthwhile to consider them in more detail.

Monocrystalline silicon panel

Modern single crystal silicon wafers (mono-Si) have a uniform dark blue color on the whole surface. For their production using the most pure silicon. Monocrystalline solar cells among all the silicon wafers have the highest price, but provide the best and efficiency.

Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Large monocrystalline solar panel with rotary mechanism ideally suited to the desert landscapes. There are provided conditions for maximum performance

High manufacturing cost due to complexity of the orientation of silicon crystals in one direction. Because of these physical properties of the working layer is ensured maximum efficiency only at perpendicular incidence of sunlight on the surface of the wafer.

Monocrystalline batteries require additional equipment, which automatically rotates them throughout the day to the panel plane was perpendicular to the rays of the sun as much as possible.

Layers of silicon with one side oriented crystals are cut out of a cylindrical metal bar, so ready photoelectric blocks have the form of rounded corners of a square.

The advantages of single-crystal silicon cells include:

  1. high efficiency with a value of 17-25%.
  2. density - less space equipment installation per unit of power, compared to polycrystalline silicon panels.
  3. Durability - sufficient power generation efficiency is ensured to 25 years.

Deficiencies in these batteries are only two:

  1. High price and long-term return on investment.
  2. Sensitivity to contamination. The dust scatters light, so it covered the solar panels is sharply reduced efficiency.

Because of the need for direct sunlight monocrystalline Solar panels are installed mainly in open areas or on top. The closer to the equator area and the more it sunny days, the more preferable the installation of this type of photovoltaic cells.

Polycrystalline solar panels

Polycrystalline silicon panel (multi-Si) have a non-uniform intensity blue color due versatile orientation of crystals. Purity silicon used in their manufacture, somewhat lower than the single crystal counterparts.

Omni directional crystal provides high efficiency under diffuse light - 12-18%. It is lower than in the unidirectional crystals, but such panels are more effective in cloudy weather conditions.

The heterogeneity of the material and leads to lower production costs of silicon. The purified metal for polycrystalline solar panels without special contrivances poured into molds.

Used in the production of special techniques for the formation of crystals, but their focus is not controlled. After cooling down, silicon layers are cut and processed by a special algorithm.

Polycrystalline panels do not require constant orientation towards the sun, so they are actively used by placing roofs of houses and industrial buildings.

Driving performance depending on the solar radiation

Happy with mild cloudiness advantages solar panels made of amorphous silicon would not be noticeable, only their advantages are disclosed when dense clouds or shade (+)

The advantages of solar cells with multidirectional crystals include:

  1. High efficiency under ambient light.
  2. Possibility of fixed installation on the roofs of buildings.
  3. Lower cost compared with single-crystal panels.
  4. duration of operation - decrease in the efficiency in 20 years of operation is only 15-20%.

Disadvantages of polycrystalline panels are also available:

  1. Reduced efficiency with a value of 12-18%.
  2. relative bulkiness - require more space for installation per unit of power as compared with the single crystal counterparts.

Polycrystalline solar panels are gaining more and more market share to other silicon cells. It provided a great potential to reduce the cost of their production. Annually increases and the efficiency of such panels, is rapidly approaching 20% ​​in mass products.

Solar panel of amorphous silicon

The mechanism of production of solar panels made of amorphous silicon is fundamentally different from the production of crystalline photovoltaic elements. Used herein is not a pure non-metal and its hydride, hot vapors that are deposited on the substrate.

As a result, this technology classical crystals are formed, and the production costs are sharply reduced.

Amorphous solar panels

Photovoltaic cells of the deposited amorphous silicon can be fixed both on the flexible polymer substrate and the hard glass sheet

Currently, there are three generations of amorphous silicon panels, each of which increases the efficiency considerably. If the first photovoltaic modules have efficiency 4-5%, now on the market are sold in large quantities of second-generation model with an efficiency of 8-9%.

Amorphous latest development panel have an efficiency of up to 12% and are already beginning to appear in the sale, but they are still quite expensive.

Due to the features of this manufacturing technology, to create silicon layer can be as rigid, and the flexible substrate. Because of this, the modules from amorphous silicon are widely used in flexible thin-film solar modules. But the options with a flexible substrate are much more expensive.

Physico-chemical structure of amorphous silicon maximizes absorb photons weak scattered light to generate electricity. Therefore, such panels are suitable for use in the northern regions with large areas free.

No reduction in battery performance based on amorphous silicon and at high temperature, although they are inferior in this parameter panels of gallium arsenide.

Electricity production of crystalline and amorphous battery

With the same equipment cost solar panels made of silicon hydride show better performance than their mono- and polycrystalline counterparts (+)

Summing up, we can find the advantages of amorphous solar panels:

  1. Versatility - the possibility of the manufacture of flexible and thin panels, batteries mounted on any architectural shape.
  2. high efficiency in diffused light.
  3. Stable work at high temperatures.
  4. The simplicity and reliability of the design. These panels are virtually unbreakable.
  5. Functionality in difficult conditions - less performance degradation at the surface of the dust than the crystalline counterparts

The service life of the photovoltaic elements, starting with the second generation of 20-25 years at a power drop in 15-20%. The disadvantages of the panels only need large areas may include amorphous silicon to accommodate the required power equipment.

Overview beskremnievyh devices

Some solar panels made using rare and expensive metals, have an efficiency of over 30%. They are many times more expensive than their silicon counterparts, but still took a high-tech trade niche, thanks to its special characteristics.

Solar panels of rare metals

There are several types of solar panels made of rare metals, and not all of them have an efficiency higher than that of monocrystalline silicon modules.

However, the ability to work in extreme conditions, allows manufacturers of solar panels to produce competitive products and conduct further research.

Panels with the layer of cadmium telluride

Panels of cadmium telluride is actively used in the cladding of buildings in the equatorial and Arabian countries, where their surface is heated to 70-80 degrees in the daytime

The main alloys used for the manufacture of photovoltaic cells, are cadmium telluride (CdTe), gallium selenide, India-copper (CIGS) and copper-indium selenide (CIS).

Cadmium - a toxic metal, indium, gallium and tellurium are quite rare and expensive, so the mass production of solar panels on their basis, even theoretically impossible.

The efficiency of such panels is at a level of 25-35%, although in exceptional cases, can reach up to 40%. Earlier, they were used mainly in the space industry, and now has a new perspective direction.

Due to the stable operation of the photocells of the rare metals at temperatures of 130-150 ° C are used in solar thermal power plants. Thus sunlight from tens or hundreds of mirrors concentrated to a small bar that simultaneously generates electricity and transmits heat water heat exchanger.

As a result of heating the water generates steam, which causes the turbine to spin and generate electricity. Thus solar energy is converted into electrical energy in two ways at the same time with maximum efficiency.

Polymer and organic counterparts

Photovoltaic modules based on organic and polymeric compounds began to develop only in the last decade, but researchers have already achieved considerable success. The greatest progress demonstrates the European company HeliatekWhich is already equipped with organic solar panels a few high-rise buildings.

The thickness of its film roll type structure HeliaFilm is only 1 mm.

In the production of polymeric panels used substances such as carbon fullerenes, copper phthalocyanine, polyphenylene, and others. The efficiency of such solar cells have reached 14-15%, and the manufacturing cost is several times less than crystalline solar panels.

Acute problem of degradation of the organic life of the working layer. Yet to confirm a level of efficiency within a few years of operation is not possible.

The advantages of organic solar panels are:

  • the possibility of environmentally sound disposal;
  • low cost of production;
  • flexible design.

The disadvantages of such solar cells include relatively low efficiency and lack of reliable information about the timing of stable operation panels. It is possible that in 5-10 years, all the disadvantages of organic solar cells will disappear, and they will become serious competitors for silicon wafers.

What is a solar panel to choose?

The choice of solar panels for the town houses at a latitude of 45-60 ° is not difficult. Here it is necessary to consider only two options: polycrystalline and monocrystalline silicon panels.

With a deficit of places better to give preference to more efficient models with a one-sided orientation of the crystals, it is recommended to purchase polycrystalline battery with unlimited space.

Market forecast of solar panels from DW

Focus on forecasts of analytical companies solar panel market development is not necessary, because the best of their designs, perhaps not yet invented

Choosing a specific manufacturer, the required power and additional equipment better with the participation of managers of companies engaged in the sale and installation of such equipment. You should know that the quality and price of PV modules from major manufacturers differ little.

Keep in mind that when ordering a set of "turnkey" equipment, the cost of solar panels themselves will be only 30-40% of the total. The payback period of such projects is 5-10 years, depending on the level of energy consumption and the possibility of selling surplus electricity to the city network.

Some artists prefer to collect solar panels himself. On our site there are articles detailing fabrication technology of such panels, their connection and arrangement of the heating solar systems.

We advise to read:

  1. How to make a solar cell with his hands: instruction on self-assembly
  2. Solar heating systems: heating arrangement analysis technologies based on solar systems
  3. Wiring diagram Solar: the controller, the battery and serving system

Conclusions and useful videos on the topic

Presented videos shows the operation of various solar panels in real world conditions. they will also help to understand the issues related equipment selection.

Rules for the choice of solar panels and related equipment:

Types of solar panels:

Testing of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels:

For households and small industrial facilities viable alternative to crystalline silicon panels has not. But the pace of development of new types of solar cells allow us to hope that soon the sun's energy will be the main source of electricity in many suburban homes.

All interested in the choice and use of solar cells offer comments, ask questions and participate in discussions. Contact form is located in the lower block.

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