What is a solar module or a solar panel?
In common reference a solar module is the same as a solar panel. Solar panels they are usually seen on rooftops of homes or businesses, but they can also exist as large arrays on open fields are even used to power satellites in outer space. Solar panel prices have fallen over the last few years to a point where power from solar photovoltaic solutions is now cheaper than buying power from your electricity company. The advances in technology have also made them easy to integrate in our daily modern lives and to boost socio-economic development.
A solar module is a large flat rectangle, made up of multiple interconnected solar cells and can be configured to supply the desired loads. The cells are made from silicon, a common chemical found in sand. When sunlight shines on solar cells, the energy (photons) it carries blasts electrons out of the silicon. These can be forced to flow around an electric circuit and power anything that runs on electricity. A typical solar cell is a sandwich of two different layers - positive and negative - of silicon that have been specially treated to let electricity flow. When many solar photovoltaic cells are connected together, you have a solar panel. Each cell generates some electricity and together many cells in a panel are combined to make a bigger electric current and voltage.
Common types of solar panels are:
Monocrystalline solar modules begin as single molten silicon structure with added elements then forming circular shaped ingots. It is sliced into thin wafers, exposed to diffusion process, and electrically connected to allow the electrons to flow.
Polycrystalline cells have many crystal structures. They can be made into squares or rectangles easily for packing with very little space between them resulting in power ratings per unit area that are similar or higher to than monocrystalline. Also because of added elements they are suitable for warm, sunny conditions in India. They also produce energy when the sun is brightest, as well as in diffused and lower lightconditions.
Amorphous (or 'thin film') offer better performance in higher temperatures, and have some benefits in shady locations. These are made when silicon is sprayed onto glass and electrical connections are laser etched. However, the benefits may have been exaggerated and their performance in Indian conditions is still unproven, and it is important to weigh that up against the negatives of thin film technology.
What is solar panel efficiency?
Simply speaking solar panel efficiency means how much area is required to produce the same amount of electricity. For eg a 14% efficient panel will use 2% less area to generate the same amount of electricity that a 12% efficient panel. However they may cost a lot more than 2%, hence often the added power production may not be worth the added costs.
Other factors that affect the output of solar panels are weather conditions, shade, the angle and position at which the solar panel is installed. Solar panels function the best when placed in direct sunlight, away from obstructions that might cast shade, and in areas with high solar insolation.
Since solar panels or solar modules convert the sun's light into electricity when the sun is not shining they do not generate electricity. Therefore, some type of battery or back-up energy system is needed to use this energy at night or during cloudy days.
Is a photovoltaic array just many solar panels put together?
The photovoltaic array (also called a Solar Array) is a linked collection of solar photovoltaic modules. Most PV arrays can be used along with a system that can plug into the existing infrastructure to power lights, motors, as well as most common heavy machinery. Solar arrays are typically measured in watts, kilowatts and megawatts. Your Sunipod solution will have either a ground mounted array or a roof top type installation, based on your estimated requirement and site characteristics.
Sunipod uses its high quality polycrystalline solar panels in your solution. Based on the application and site characteristics different size of solar panels could be used in designing an optimized solar power solution. Sometimes it may be better to use large number of smaller solar panels whereas other applications may demand using less number of bigger solar modules. Sunipod considers many different sizes of panels when designing the system that’s best for you.
There are many solar panel manufacturers in India, and with so many different panels on offer, it can be hard to separate the good ones from the bad. Hence as a user, it is important to select a solar energy company which provides a holistic solution instead of an individual component supplier.
Product Specifications of Sunipod Solar Poly-Crystalline Module Panels
The range of solar modules available with our solutions is provided below. Based on your application and requirement we will recommend an optimized solution using these solar panels.