If you are looking forward to buying a solar system as a whole or trying to buy in parts to assemble it by your own, one need to purchase the best solar panels. There are plenty of selections in terms of solar panels now, which leave the buyers in dilemma on which to choose. Some comes with a subsidy whereas some others are the latest lightweight models. Here, we will have an overview of solar panels and with purchase tips.
Function of solar panels
You can search in the Google for the “world’s best solar panels”, but in fact there is no such thing to be considered as a one-size fit for all purposes. The best product varies on the basis of whether you want to light up the entire house or want to make use of it to charge your car battery. You need to also know that producing hot water with the help of a solar heater is a totally different affair than generating electricity from solar energy.
On checking out for the real function of solar panels, these are photovoltaic cells which converts the short-wave radiation from parts of sunlight to electric power. Solar panels consist of interconnected solar cells, which are adequately protected by a solid material. The surface of solar panel is kept transparent and the block of solar panel is adequately framed.
Purchasing solar panels
Before purchasing any solar panel, ensure that you take a close look at the specification sheet. It can give a clear idea about the major details of that particular solar module and its specifications to help you choose the best solar panel. To interpret the technical data mentioned, you need to have some basic knowledge of the following concepts;
- Type of semiconductor used
Various types of semiconductors used in solar cells include;
- Monocrystalline silicon cells (c-Si) with an efficiency of 20%
- Polycrystalline silicon cells (mc-Si) with an efficiency of 16%
- Flat-film amorphous silicon cells (a-Si) with efficiency of 5% to 7%
- Microcrystalline silicon cells (µc-Si) along with a-Si cells efficiency up to 10%
- Gallium-Arsenik cells (GaAs) with efficiency of 10 to 40%
- Cadmium-Tellur cells (CdTe) with efficiency of 10 to 40%
- Chalkopyrite cells (CIS, CIGS) with efficiency from 10 to over 40%.
It is expected that the panels containing organic cells may be the best in future as they can be made at a lower cost. However, as of now the efficiency of such panels is low with a maximum yield of 10% and the life expectancy is also short as 5000 hours. They are ideal now for portable electric devices, but researches are ongoing to enhance its capabilities. The other considerations are;
- Efficiency of solar modules – Not just the individual cells, but ensure the efficiency of the entire solar panel block on the basis of high minimum warranted power rating.
- Power rating of solar modules – It is the wattage of a particular solar module. What you need to check is the warranted minimum power stated in Peak Watt (Wp).
- Operational voltage – Open circuit voltage usually rated in Volts (V) is the maximum voltage solar cells can produce while not connected to a load.
Some other considerations to make are the temperature operating range (TOR), dimensions of the panel, warranty etc.