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Solar modules transform light in to electrical energy.A solar panel (photovoltaic module or photovoltaic panel) is a packaged interconnected assembly of solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells. The solar panel can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential applications.

Conversion of the light into electricity which is known as the photovoltaic process is based on a special material that is present in almost all solar cells: silicon a semiconductor with natural electrical properties.

Silicon. is the most common element on Earth after oxygen. So it is a very inexpensive and nearly inexhaustible natural resource. In order to make use of it for photovoltaic purposes though, a complicated, multi-step process is necessary. Simple silica sand is transformed into pure crystalline silicon. There are several types, depending on the crystal structure and production method:

  • Monocrystalline solar cells are black or dark blue in color. They are made up of just one crystal and have the highest efficiency factor of all silicon cells. They are preferred in situations where available surface area is limited. Their lifespan is at least 20 years.
  • Polycrystalline or multi-crystalline solar cells have a blue surface. Their crystal structure is only partially ordered giving them less voltage which means a somewhat lower efficiency factor. Polycrystalline cells are easier to manufacture, cheaper to produce and are the most used technology in the photovoltaic sector.
  • Thin film modules are dark red or dark brown in color. They are made up of a thin, amorphous silicon layer. Their efficiency factor is lower than that of crystalline solar modules which means thin film modules need more surface space, but they are also cheaper to produce and offer advantages in diffuse light and higher temperature climates.