Solarpanelsvenue dot com presents: Basics of solar modules This video will show: what solar module is,
differences between main types of solar modules, which type of solar modules is the most efficient
one, what affects the energy output of a solar module.
Photovoltaic module is the main component of any solar electric system. A solar module
consists of photovoltaic cells connected together. Photovoltaic cells and modules are made of
semiconductor, usually silicon, which capable to produce electricity when exposed to sunlight.
Such ability is called a ‘photovoltaic effect’. Photovoltaic modules generate DC electricity.
They are produced in various type and size. They have a lifetime of more than 25 years. Solar module is the main unit of any solar
electric system. A solar module consists of solar cells connected together. To achieve
higher energy yield, solar modules are connected in arrays. Here you see the main types of
photovoltaic units. A solar electric system is the ultimate point
of solar module application. It contains an installed solar array generating electricity
from sunlight. A solar electric system can replace partially or completely your electricity
provider thus saving you money. A solar system can be connected to or disconnected from utility
grid. The generated electricity can be either used right away or stored in a battery for
later use. Solar modules consist of photovoltaic cells
connected in series and in parallel. PV modules differ mostly in their: type – they
can be monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. They differ in their power output,
also known as ‘power rating’ or ‘rated power’. Another point of difference is output
voltage. It can be 12 volts, 24 volts, 48 volts or 60 volts. Solar modules differ also
in their size and weight. There are 3 main types of solar modules: monocrystalline,
polycrystalline, and thin-film ones. We’ll briefly give some info about each type. Monocrystalline modules are the most efficient
but also the most expensive ones. They come in a blue or black color. You would probably
ask what efficiency of a solar module is. Well, the less photovoltaic modules you need
to produce a certain amount of power, the higher their efficiency. // Normally if there
is not enough free space on your roof, you choose solar modules with higher efficiency. Polycrystalline modules are slightly less
efficient and cost 30 to 50 percent less than monocrystalline ones, when used to produce
the same amount of power. Polycrystalline modules have a lifecycle of
about 25 years. Practice has shown however that polycrystalline modules installed more
than 25 years ago are still perfectly operational. Polycrystalline modules are typically blue
and can be easily distinguished by their multifaceted, kind-of-shimmering appearance. Thin-film modules are the least expensive
modules with the lowest efficiency. The efficiency of thin-film modules is twice less than the
efficiency of monocrystalline modules. This means that if you want to generate the same
amount of power produced by monocrystalline modules, you need twice more thin-film modules.
Thin-film modules have a dark surface – usually colored in brown, grey and black. It’s important to precisely compare the
three main types of solar modules by their efficiency. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline
modules are the most commonly used ones in home and business solar electric systems.
The table presents the area needed by every module type to produce 1 kilowatt of power.
You can see that monocrystalline modules require the smallest area, as they are the most efficient
ones. Thin-film modules require the largest area to install, and for this reason they
are the least efficient ones. The energy output of a solar module is affected
by three factors: Location, Orientation and tilt angle, and Shading. Geographic location plays a vital part in
the energy output of any solar module since it determines the amount of solar radiation
affecting directly the generated solar electricity. Solar radiation is evaluated in terms of perfect
sun hours, or PSH, which can be obtained from solar maps. The value of perfect sun hours
for a specific location is not constant and varies throughout the year with every season.
To learn more about how to determine the perfect sun hours, watch our video about solar maps. Orientation is the most important for energy
output of a solar module. Optimal orientation might be different for summer and winter.
It should be noted that azimuth is much more critical than tilt angle. Certainly the best
performance is achieved when a solar module faces the sun. You can learn more practical
tips in our Silver Package book. The third important factor, critical for every
solar module’s energy output, is shading. Shading is always detrimental for system performance.
You should avoid shading whenever possible. It should be noted that thin-film modules
are less affected by shading. What is also important is that a site can be shaded in
the morning and unshaded in the afternoon. It can also be unshaded in summer and shaded
in winter, when the sun is low in the sky and objects tend to cast ‘longer’ shadows. Solarpanelsvenue dot com: adapting solar energy
to your needs.