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Solar panel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Solar panel
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A solar panel is a set of solar photovoltaic modules electrically connected and mounted on a supporting structure. A photovoltaic module is a packaged, connected assembly of solar cells. The solar module can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential applications. Each module is rated by its DC output power under standard test conditions (STC), and typically ranges from 100 to 320 watts. The efficiency of a module determines the area of a module given the same rated output - an 8% efficient 230 watt module will have twice the area of a 16% efficient 230 watt module. A single solar module can produce only a limited amount of power; most installations contain multiple modules. A photovoltaic system typically includes a panel or an array of solar modules, an inverter, and sometimes a battery and/or solar tracker and interconnection wiring.

An installation of 24 solar modules in rural Mongolia

1 Theory and construction 2 Efficiencies 3 Crystalline silicon modules 4 Thin-film modules 4.1 Rigid thin-film modules 4.2 Flexible thin-film modules 5 Solar micro-inverter 6 Module performance and aging 7 Recycling 8 Production 8.1 Top ten producers 9 Price 10 Mounting systems 10.1 Trackers 10.2 Fixed racks 10.3 Ground mounted 10.4 Roof mounting 11 Standards 12 Devices with photovoltaic modules 13 See also 14 References
A solar photovoltaic module, is composed of individual PV cells. This crystalline-silicon module has an aluminium frame and glass on the front.

Solar modules on the International Space Station

Theory and construction
See also: Solar cell

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but usually cannot cover the entire solar range (specifically. the free encyclopedia http://en. The scattered light then travels along a longer path in the semiconductor which meant that more photons could be absorbed and converted into current. Most solar modules are rigid. These early solar modules were first used in space in 1958. the light scattering occurred in the near infrared region and visible light was absorbed strongly. Cells must also be protected from mechanical damage and moisture. The majority of modules use wafer-based crystalline silicon cells or thin-film cells based on cadmium telluride or Solar modules use light energy (photons) from the sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. thus reducing material 2 of 10 12/2/2013 12:26 AM . to maximize the output of module sections still illuminated.Wikipedia.[citation needed] A half-built homemade solar module. The structural (load carrying) member of a module can either be the top layer or the back layer. Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate (solar module efficiency) is around 19. in case of partial module shading. made from individual cells soldered together Efficiencies Depending on construction.[1] This has been projected to be capable of raising efficiency by 50%. The research also noted that the increase in current makes thinner film solar panels technically feasible without "compromising power conversion efficiencies.22 W/ft2 (175 W/m2). The most efficient mass-produced solar modules have energy density values of up to 16. and they can give far higher efficiencies if illuminated with monochromatic light.8% in new commercial products[2] typically lower than the efficiencies of their cells in isolation. Some recent solar module designs include concentrators in which light is focused by lenses or mirrors onto an array of smaller cells. based on thin-film cells. Externally. popular terrestrial usage photovoltaic modules use MC3 (older) or MC4 connectors to facilitate easy weatherproof connections to the rest of the system. Polycrystalline PV cells connected in a solar module. infrared and low or diffused light). the research argued. Hence much of the incident sunlight energy is wasted by solar modules. Bypass diodes may be incorporated or used externally. London has shown that the efficiency of a solar panel can be improved by studding the lightreceiving semiconductor surface with aluminum nanocylinders similar to the ridges on Lego blocks.[3] A research by Imperial College. ultraviolet. The cells must be connected electrically to one another and to the rest of the system. photovoltaic modules can produce electricity from a range of frequencies of light. This. another design concept is to split the light into different wavelength ranges and direct the beams onto different cells tuned to those ranges. The conducting wires that take the current off the modules may contain silver.wikipedia. Aluminum was found to have absorbed ultraviolet part of the spectrum and the visible and near infrared parts of the spectrum were found to be scattered by the aluminum surface. could bring down the cost significantly and improve the efficiency as aluminum is more abundant and less costly than gold and silver. Electrical connections are made in series to achieve a desired output voltage and/or in parallel to provide a desired current capability. Although these nanocylinders were used previously in which aluminum was preceded by gold and silver.Solar panel . Therefore. copper or other non-magnetic conductive transition metals. but semi-flexible ones are available. This enables the use of cells with a high cost per unit area (such as gallium arsenide) in a cost-effective way.

the cell and the module are manufactured in the same production line.Solar panel . and more complex parabolic 3 of 10 12/2/2013 12:26 AM . Amorphous silicon has a sunlight conversion rate of 6-12%. The cell is created on a glass substrate or superstrate. The substrate or superstrate is laminated with an encapsulant to a front or back sheet. If it is a conductor then another technique for electrical connection must be used. The main cell technologies in this category are CdTe. polyester or polyimide film) then monolithic integration can be used. usually another sheet of glass. The requirements for residential and commercial are different in that the residential needs are simple and can be packaged so that as solar cell technology progresses. and the electrical connections are created in situ.Wikipedia. They produce a relatively high-efficiency conversion for the low cost compared to other solar technologies. These are typically categorized as monocrystalline or polycrystalline modules. Commercial use. the other base line equipment such as the battery. the free encyclopedia http://en.g. So-called inverted metamorphic (IMM) multijunction solar cells made on compound-semiconductor technology are just becoming commercialized in July 2008. a so-called "monolithic integration". or a-Si+uc-Si tandem. or CIGS (or variant). Flexible thin-film modules Flexible thin film cells and modules are created on the same production line by depositing the photoactive layer and other necessary layers on a flexible substrate. The cells are assembled into modules by laminating them to a transparent colourless fluoropolymer on the front side (typically ETFE or FEP) and a polymer suitable for bonding to the final substrate on the other side. Thin-film modules Main articles: Thin film solar cell and Third generation solar cell Third generation solar cells are advanced thin-film cells.wikipedia. If the substrate is an insulator (e. The University of Michigan's solar car that won the North American Solar Challenge in July 2008 used IMM thin-film flexible solar cells. The only commercially available (in MW quantities) flexible module uses amorphous silicon triple junction (from Unisolar). depending on the size of the service will be limited in the photovoltaic cell arena. Rigid thin-film modules In rigid thin film modules. or a-Si. inverter and voltage sensing transfer switch still need to be compacted and unitized for residential use.[4] Crystalline silicon modules Main article: Solar cell Most solar modules are currently produced from silicon photovoltaic consumption".

and the measurement of performance data for monitoring and fault detection at module level. but not having the output of the entire module fall to zero. at a glance. The global flexible and thin-film photovoltaic (PV) market. surpassing 32 GW according to a major new study by IntertechPira. temperature and load conditions change. +/-5%.Solar panel . peak power. but can be broken by bending them into a sharp angle. Electrical characteristics include nominal power (PMAX.000 W/m². measured in amperes). short circuit current (ISC. is expected to experience a CAGR of over 35% to 2019. Wp.[5] Solar micro-inverter Main article: Solar micro-inverter Several companies have begun embedding electronics into PV modules.[citation needed] Flexible thin-film panels are optimal for portable applications as they are much more resistant to breakage than regular crystalline cells. maximum power voltage (VMPP). so there is never one specific voltage at which the module operates. solar spectrum of AM 1. Module performance and aging Module performance is generally rated under standard test conditions (STC): irradiance of 1.5 and module temperature at 25°C. and cycles of heat and cold for many years. Wp. Typical modules. hail. As of about 2010. will be rated from as low as 75 watts to as high as 350 watts. The peak power rating. Nominal voltage refers to the voltage of the battery that the module is best suited to charge.[6][7][8][9] Solar modules must withstand reflectors and solar concentrators are becoming the dominant technology. a DC-to-DC converter technology developed to maximize the power harvest from solar photovoltaic systems. Nominal voltage allows users. The actual voltage output of the module changes as lighting. They are also much lighter per square foot than standard rigid solar panels. This enables performing maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for each module individually. open circuit voltage (VOC). and module efficiency (%). depending on their efficiency. to make sure the module is compatible with a given system. Some of these solutions make use of power optimizers. despite caution in the overall PV industry.Wikipedia. this is a leftover term from the days when solar modules were only used to charge batteries. At the time of testing. maximum power current (IMPP). Many crystalline silicon module manufacturers offer a warranty that guarantees electrical production for 10 years at 90% of rated power 4 of 10 12/2/2013 12:26 AM . +3/-0% or +5/-0%.wikipedia. Open circuit voltage or VOC is the maximum voltage that the module can produce when not connected to an electrical circuit or system.3%. VOC can be measured with a meter directly on an illuminated module's terminals or on its disconnected cable. which could measure approximately 1x2 meters or 2x4 feet. and a typical manufacturer might rate their modules in 5 watt increments. is the maximum output under standard test conditions (not the maximum possible output). such electronics can also compensate for shading effects. wherein a shadow falling across a section of a module causes the electrical output of one or more strings of cells in the module to fall to zero. the free encyclopedia http://en. the test modules are binned according to their test results. measured in W). and either rate them at +/.

plastics and metals. recyclers and researchers to look at the future of PV module recycling.[17] Since 2010.[15] For cadmium telluride modules. With over 100% year-on-year growth in PV system installation. Sharp Solar The "solar tree". a symbol of Gleisdorf. First Solar 3. Suntech.Wikipedia. the free encyclopedia http://en. Suntech 2. The module is then crushed in a mill and the different fractions are separated . According to PVinsights. Yingli and Trina Solar are GW producers now.8% in solar PV installation on a year-on-year basis. 15.[11] Some private companies and non-profit organizations are currently engaged in take-back and recycling operations for end-of-life modules.[16] Some commercial-scale recycling facilities have been created in recent years by private companies. with solar PV pricing survey and market research company PVinsights reporting growth of 117. and most of them doubled their shipments in 2010.[14] This process can be performed by flat glass recyclers since morphology and composition of a PV module is similar to those flat glasses used in the building and automotive industry. the recycling process begins by crushing the module and subsequently separating the different fractions.[20] Top ten producers The top ten solar module producers (by MW shipments) in 2010 were:[20] 1.[18][19] Production In 2010. there is an annual European conference bringing together manufacturers. Sharp. PV module makers dramatically increased their shipments of solar modules in 2010.[10] Recycling Most parts of a solar module can be recycled including up to 97% of certain semiconductor materials or the glass as well as large amounts of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.9 GW of solar PV system installations were completed. They actively expanded their capacity and turned themselves into gigawatt GW players.Solar panel . First Solar. Austria 5 of 10 12/2/2013 12:26 AM .org/wiki/Solar_panel output and 25 years at 80%. The recovered glass for example is readily accepted by the glass foam and glass insulation industry. five of the top ten PV module companies in 2010 are GW players. Non-silicon based modules: they require specific recycling technologies such as the use of chemical baths in order to separate the different semiconductor materials.[13] It is possible to recover more than 80% of the incoming weight. This recycling process is designed to recover up to 90% of the glass and 95% of the semiconductor materials contained.[12] Recycling possibilities depend on the kind of technology used in the modules: Silicon based modules: aluminium frames and junction boxes are dismantled manually at the beginning of the

Wikipedia. In a cloudy country such as the United Kingdom.[21][22] Real world prices depend a great deal on local weather conditions. This situation is sometimes called 'retail grid parity'. 5. 6. Following to RMI. This point is sometimes called 'wholesale grid parity' or 'busbar parity'.[23] Mounting systems Trackers Solar trackers increase the amount of energy produced per module at a cost of mechanical complexity and need for maintenance. mid-range buyers (typically up to 10 MWp annually). and large quantity buyers (self-explanatory—and with access to the lowest prices). Fixed racks Fixed racks hold modules stationary as the sun moves across the sky. They sense the direction of the Sun and tilt the modules as needed for maximum exposure to the light. such as Italy. Most of these fixed racks are set on poles above ground.wikipedia. For merchant solar power stations. and areas using diesel generators. converters. can supply power directly to an electricity user. which was 250 times lower than the cost in 1970 of $150. Tilt angles equivalent to an installation's latitude are common. the free encyclopedia http://en. 9. the installation can be competitive when the output cost matches the price at which the user pays for his electricity consumption.[23] Some photovoltaic systems.[24] Research carried out by UN-Energy in 2012 suggests areas of sunny countries with high electricity prices. Over the long term there is clearly a systematic reduction in the price of cells and modules. where the electricity is being sold into the electricity transmission network. price per installed kW is higher than in sunnier countries like Spain. Spain and Australia. 6 of 10 12/2/2013 12:26 AM . Yingli Trina Solar Canadian Solar Hanwha Solarone SunPower Renewable Energy Corporation SolarWorld Price See also: Grid parity Average pricing information divides in three pricing categories: those buying small quantities (modules of all sizes in the kilowatt range annually). 8. Balance-of-System (BoS) elements. 'socket parity' or 'dynamic grid parity'. 7. racking systems and various components) make up about half of the total costs of installations. For example in 2012 it was estimated that the quantity cost per watt was about $0.60. The fixed rack sets the angle at which the module is held. non-module cost of non-microinverter solar modules (as wiring. such as rooftop 4. In these cases. this is. the cost of solar energy will need to match the wholesale electricity price. have reached retail grid parity. 10.Solar panel .

wikipedia. which are attached directly to the roof structure and may use additional rails for attaching the module racking or frames. Ballasted footing mounts. such as concrete slabs or poured footings Ballasted footing mounts.Wikipedia. This mounting method allows for decommissioning or relocation of solar panel systems with no adverse effect on the roof Ground mounted Ground mounted solar power systems consist of solar modules held in place by racks or frames that are attached to ground based mounting supports. such as concrete or steel bases that use weight to secure the solar module system in position and do not require ground penetration. All wiring connecting adjacent solar modules to the energy harvesting equipment must be installed according to local electrical codes and should be run in a conduit appropriate for the climate conditions Technicians installing photovoltaic modules on a roof-mounted rack A roof-mounted solar panel system installed on a sloped roof using pole mounts and rails Solar modules mounted on a Walmart in Caguas. such as concrete or steel bases that use weight to secure the panel system in position and do not require through penetration. This type of mounting system is well suited for sites where excavation is not possible such as capped landfills and simplifies decommissioning or relocation of solar module systems.Solar panel . trackers Foundation mounts. Roof mounting Roof-mounted solar power systems consist of solar modules held in place by racks or frames attached to roof-based mounting supports. Roof-based mounting supports include: Pole mounts. which are driven directly into the ground or Solar modules mounted on solar embedded in concrete. Puerto Rico Standards Standards generally used in photovoltaic modules: 7 of 10 12/2/2013 12:26 AM . Ground based mounting supports include: Pole mounts. the free encyclopedia http://en.

co.solarcentury. 8 of 10 12/2/2013 12:26 AM . EST-110).Wikipedia.Solar panel . or have employed photovoltaic modules to generate blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobheadername3=Content-Disposition& blobheadervalue3=attachment%3B+filename%3D11_317_sp_e20_327_sf_ds_en_ltr_p.pdf&blobkey=id& blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1300275818929&ssbinary=true) 2. ^ "SunPower e20 Module" (http://us. EST-22H. safety) ISO 9488 Solar energy—Vocabulary. Retrieved 7 April IEC 61215 (crystalline silicon performance). 61646 (thin film performance) and 61730 (all modules. Devices with photovoltaic modules Further information: Solar modules on spacecraft and Solar charger Electric devices that includes solar modules: Solar plane Solar-pumped laser Solar vehicle Space stations and various spacecraft employ. ^ Very High Efficient Solar Cells (http://www. International Space Station Mir space station Skylab space laboratory Soyuz spacecraft See also Domestic energy consumption List of photovoltaics companies Moore's law Photovoltaic system Rooftop photovoltaic power station Sky footage Solar inverter Solar roadway Solar ovens Solar still Solar cookers References 1. EST-22V.wikipedia. the free encyclopedia http://en. UL 1703 From Underwriters Laboratories UL 1741 From Underwriters Laboratories UL 2703 From Underwriters Laboratories CE mark Electrical Safety Tester (EST) Series (EST-460.

Retrieved August 2012. ^ a b "PVinsights announces worldwide 2010 top 10 ranking of PV module makers" (http://pvinsights.pdf).trinasolar. 12-14 14. ^ "First Solar – FS-377 / FS-380 / FS-382 / FS-385 Datasheet" (http://www.pdf). 21. Retrieved 2012-06-04. ^ Q. Retrieved Aug 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.un-energy. "A Voluntary Take Back Scheme and Industrial Recycling of Photovoltaic Modules" (http://www. Retrieved September 3. 17 16. p.pdf) (PDF).php?title=Solar_panel&oldid=583534027" Categories: Photovoltaics Solar-powered devices This page was last modified on 27 November 2013 at 14:44. ^ ^ "Global flexible and thin-film PV market expected to reach US$58b in 2019. 24 October 2013. Globalsolartechnology. /ReportPMM04A.html).Solar panel .php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3981&Itemid=9).org/stories/2498-re-considering-the-economics-of-photovoltaic-power).com/userfiles/file/brochlet%20CTISOLAR%20vers%20EN. 4. Retrieved 2011-05-06.Wikipedia. ^ Krueger. ^ Lisa Krueger. UN-Energy (United Nations). p.php?record_id=5954).bnl. 2010.epia.pdf) (PDF). ^ Wambach. Sanyo / Panasonic.pdf) (PDF). ^ "TSM PC/PM14 Datasheet" (http://www.enfsolar. ^ 19. 1999. ^ "Improving the efficiency of solar panels" (http://www. www. ^ "Solar Photovoltaics competing in the energy sector – On the road to competitiveness" ( p. 20.pdf) 7. Retrieved from " Data Sheet (http://www. (17 May 2012). Retrieved August 2012. ^ Wambach.un-energy.pdf). 1999.unendlich-viel-energie. the free encyclopedia http://en.nap. ^ "CTI Solar sales brochure" (http://www.wikipedia. Retrieved 24 October 2013. (2013-01-08). 15 15. The Hindu. 8. Retrieved January 2011. ^ "3rd International Conference on PV Module Recycling" (http://www. 1999. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike /module/pdf/en/FirstSolar_PD-5-401-03-Global-Series-3-Datasheet /PD-5-401-03%20Global%20Series%203%20Datasheet. p. European Photovoltaic Industry Association. 2009-09-11.wikipedia. 22.sanyo. ^ a b Morgan Baziliana et /Panasonic%20HIT%20220A%20Data%20Sheet_WEB-10609680. ^ Karsten Wambach. National Research / /fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Competing_Full_Report.reports by IntertechPira study" (http://globalsolartechnology. ^ "HIT® Photovoltaic Module" (http://us. 23 18. ^ ENF Ltd. "Re-considering the economics of photovoltaic power" (http://www. 1999. 23 17. (PDF). 10. ^ Harnessing Light (http://www. http://www. 1999. 37. Retrieved 24 December 2012. Experts Say" (http://www. Retrieved Retrieved 2012-06-04. 1999. additional terms may 9 of 10 12/2/2013 12:26 AM . 162. EPIA. /en/details/browse/11/article/253/first-breakthrough-in-solar-photovoltaic-module-recycling-experts-say.cti-solar. 9.pvinsights. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 24. 1999. 11. ^ "First Breakthrough In Solar Photovoltaic Module Recycling.phoenixsolar-group. Retrieved October 2012.ece). PV CYCLE. 23. p. ^ "YGE 235 Data sheet" (http://www. "Small Chinese Solar Manufacturers Decimated in 2012 | Solar PV Business News | ENF Company Directory" (http://www.pdf) (PDF). Brookhaven National Laboratory /pv/files/PRS_Agenda/ p. 1997~. 3. "Overview of First Solar's Module Collection and Recycling Program" (http://www. Brookhaven National Laboratory

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