In this article we will talk about Silicon Solar Panels, their composition and efficiency.
Silicon Solar Panels
Photovoltaic panels, or better known as solar panels, crystalline silicon are the most common and the most installed. Current technology allows these to last a little over 30 years, as long as you do an occasional cleaning, everything else is fine. Today we want to emphasize the most important factors to consider and what are the differences between the panels.
The efficiency of silicon solar panels can be measured in many ways. In extraordinary conditions, a solar panel can perform what the statements say, but generally, depending on the conditions of the day, these panels can last between 75 and 85% of their capacities.
Compositions of photovoltaic cells
The components of a photovoltaic cell have an important piece, it is the one that collects solar energy and from there it becomes electricity. Photovoltaic cells are combined semiconductor solar panels that will absorb solar energy. The semiconductors are connected to a network of coupled cables to make a circuit where the energy output in the solar panel will be obtained.
These photovoltaic cells are delicate, they oxidize quickly since they are exposed to the outside and its varying climates, that is why we recommend covering them with transparent plastics to have rigidity and increase resistance. Its main material is silicon, a very abundant material on earth, and it is a great benefit in the manufacture of solar cells. This material is found in the sun, stars, and meteorites.
Temperature and performance of silicon solar panels
According to STC standards, they are determined at a cell temperature of no more than 25 °C with solar radiation of 1kW/m2, and an air mass of 1.5. But under the sun everything changes, very rarely does the radiation reach these values, the plates usually heat up to 50 °C or more, but they perform less.
The performance of crystalline silicon plates decreases from 0.3 to 0.7% per additional degree depending on models and quality, that is why a silicon solar panel on a typical day produces considerably less electricity than expected. The logical thing is that a panel works well in high temperatures and moderate heights, but they do not always have the same behavior, it is not the same that they are installed in an arid zone, than in a humid zone.
It can happen that there is enough sun and the solar batteries do not charge, this is due to the high temperatures it receives and does not allow them to charge completely due to the reduction in the voltage on the plates and they do not have enough value to fill up.
Solar cell or solar panel?
The crystalline panels are made up of totally individual cells, each one produces, depending on its type of radiation, a voltage between 0.35 and 0.65V. For example, a 12V panel has 36 cells connected, these reach a high voltage of 18V, more or less, enough to charge the 12V batteries depending on the conditions. The ideal is to produce larger solar panels due to the high demands and thus be able to generate higher voltage, have more efficiency and reduce contacts with cables, etc.
Most panels are made up of approximately 60 cells at 30V, or 72 cells at 36V, a total capacity of about 400W.
The union of these cells is risky, as they can cause significant losses since the most insignificant piece determines the strength of the system itself. A single high internal resistance cell inhibits the flow of electricity and causes significant heating of over 100°C.
Silicon in photovoltaic cells
Obtaining this material is made by various methods, the most common is through carbothermics, this involves a very high energy expenditure, it is complex, and toxic compounds must be handled; the industries that make semiconductors grab the metallurgical silicon and purify it to obtain the electronic silicon, this has high purity through complex processes.
In the production of solar panels, approximately 15 tons are used for each MW. A single photovoltaic cell does not produce enough voltage and power, for this several cells are joined in series and thus their efficiency increases.