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What’s the Difference? Types and Characteristics of Solar Panels

When introducing solar power generation, the problem is what kind of Solar companies in Pakistan to install. A solar panel is a device that collects the sun’s light and converts it into electricity.

Manufacturers in Japan and overseas make various types, and various types are used. Each has different characteristics, so it is important to understand the differences before introducing solar power generation. So, this time, we will explain in detail the types of solar panels and their characteristics.

Mechanism and structure of solar panels

Photovoltaic power generation is being introduced worldwide as an earth-friendly next-generation energy source. Various devices are required to install and generate electricity, and “solar panels” are one of them. Many people have probably seen solar panels lined up on the roofs of houses, on carports, and in vacant lots.
This solar panel is made of semiconductors such as silicon crystals, and when sunlight hits this semiconductor, it absorbs light energy and converts it into electrical energy. In addition, the surface of the solar panel is covered with a thin film called a bluish-black antireflection film so that the sunlight can be collected as efficiently as possible.
Since it obtains energy from the sun, it cannot generate electricity at night when the sun is not out. The amount of electricity generated will be less on bad weather days such as cloudy or snowy days. By the way, solar panels are also called “solar cell modules,” but even though they are “batteries,” the panels cannot store electricity.

Three Classifications of Solar Panels

Solar panels can be broadly divided into three types: silicon, compound, and organic. Silicon-based LEDs are most commonly used for residential use because of their excellent power generation efficiency, followed by compound-based LEDs that reduce output loss at high temperatures. In addition, since the organic system has yet to be put into practical use, it is not used for housing.

Types and characteristics of silicon solar panels
Silicon-based solar panels, most commonly used among residential solar panels, can be classified into four types. Let’s take a closer look at each feature.

Monocrystalline silicon

The first solar panel developed was a single-crystal silicon panel. Simply put, single crystal refers to “crystals arranged in a regular pattern” and is characterized by low power generation loss. Compared to other products, the manufacturing cost is high, but the conversion efficiency is high, and it is attractive because of its excellent performance and reliability. However, since it is not very resistant to temperature rises, the conversion efficiency may decrease on hot days.

Polycrystalline silicon

It is a solar panel made using silicon leftovers generated when making single crystals or non-standard silicon raw materials. Unlike single crystals, the crystals are not arranged regularly, so there is a disadvantage in that the amount of power generation is inferior to that of single crystals. It’s attractive. Therefore, it is often used when mounting a lot of solar panels.

Amorphous silicon

It is a solar panel made using “amorphous silicon” with no specific crystal structure. Since it is made by forming an amorphous thin film on a substrate such as glass or a piece of metal, it has the disadvantage of low conversion efficiency. However, because it is a thin film, it is characterized by good workability and high applicability. Compared to monocrystalline silicon and polycrystalline silicon, the decline in conversion efficiency on hot days is suppressed.

HIT (Heterozygous)

It refers to solar panels manufactured by Panasonic that are made from a different type of silicon. Compared to monocrystalline silicon, it has the advantage of higher conversion efficiency and less output drop at high temperatures. Still, it also has the disadvantage of being more expensive due to its complicated manufacturing method.

Types and characteristics of compound solar panels
“Compound solar panels” made using materials other than silicon can be broadly classified into the following two types. Let’s take a closer look at each feature.

CIS/CIGS

CIS is a solar panel made of compound semiconductors with copper, indium, and selenium as raw materials. A solar panel of these three elements plus gallium is called “CIGS.” Compared to silicon-based solar panels, they can be manufactured at an overwhelmingly lower cost, making it one of the most promising panels for future market expansion.

CDTE

CdTe is a solar panel made of a compound semiconductor made from cadmium and tellurium. While CdTe is becoming popular in Europe and the United States due to its high efficiency and excellent cost performance, there are no manufacturers in Japan producing CdTe because it contains cadmium, a hazardous substance.

When installing solar power generation, refer to the above information and correctly understand the types of solar panel and their characteristics. Then, select the panel that is suitable for your home environment.

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