Photovoltaic Modules 

Photovoltaic Modules

Solar Panel Technology

Solar Power Electricity



Photovoltaic Modules

 These are assembled sets of interconnected solar cells. The photovoltaic modules are commonly known as solar panels and are used as a component in large photovoltaic systems to generate electricity by using light energy from the sun.

  This effect is called photovoltaic effect. A photovoltaic mainly consists of many assembled solar cells. It consists of a transparent front side, encapsulated solar cells and a back side.

 For one to use the cells in a practical demonstration, the cells must be

  • electrically connected to one another and the rest of the whole system
  • protected from moisture as the corrosion could damage the contacts.
  • protected from any mechanical damage from manufacture, transportation, installation and when in use.
  • Most modules are generally rigid but some are flexible, based on thin film cells.

 Thin Film modules

 Thin film cells are advanced third generation solar cells. The advantage is that they produce high efficiency energy conversion at a lower price.

 Third generation offers among others non semi conductor technologies, quantum dot, multi-junction cells and intermediate band solar cell.

Types of 3rd generation solar cells

  • A-SI
  • Cd Te (second generation)
  • CIGS( copper Indium gallium selenide, second generation
  • Nanocrystal solar cell. Of course the research is quite intensive, so expect unexpected and new emerging technology.

 Performance and life time

 The module performance is rated under Standard Test Conditions (STC)

Electrical characteristic of the module includes

  • nominal power measure in W
  • open circuit voltage
  • short circuit current measured in amperes
  • maximum power voltage
  • maximum power current and,
  • module efficiency

 Solar panels are made to withstand heat, cold, rain and hail storms for several years. Many modules come with warranties of guaranteed electrical production for 10 years at 90% of rated power out and 25 years at 80%. With more research and modern manufacturing technologies - expect prices to go down rather rapidly over the next 5-10 years.



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