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Solar Panels and Their Components

Solar panels contain solar (or photovoltaic) cells which absorb solar radiation to generate electricity or heat through the photovoltaic effect.

There are six main individual components found in solar panels: a junction box, back sheet, encapsulant, the solar cells, glass, and frame.

1. Frame: Most solar panels are fitted with aluminum frames which provide mounting attachment points and protection for the edges of the glass laminate. Aluminum has corrosion resistance, high strength, stability, and good conductive properties, that can protect the panel components against lightning during a thunderstorm.

2. Glass: Glass is a durable and highly transparent material which allows solar energy transmittance. Glass survives harsh environmental conditions and protects the sensitive components of solar modules from water and humidity.

3. Encapsulant: An optically transparent coating material used to provide adhesion between solar cells, the top surface, and the rear surface of the PV module. They should be stable at elevated temperatures and high UV exposure.

4. Solar Cell: An electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect, which is a physical and chemical phenomenon. Majority of these cells are coated with silicon that range from non-crystalline to single crystal forms. Unlike typical fuel sources like batteries or fuel cells, solar cells do not require fuel to produce energy, and unlike electrical generators, they do not consist of moving parts.

5. Back Sheet: This is the last layer at the bottom of the panel and is generally made of polymer/combination of polymers. Its material provides protection from moisture, physical damage and UV rays, while also minimizing electrical discharge and thermal degradation.

6. Junction Box: An interface between the conductor ribbons on the panel and the DC input and output cables. These boxes are installed on the back of the PV panel.

Despite the rapid advancement of solar panel technology, basic solar panel construction hasn’t changed much over the last few years. The highest quality components will always guarantee long-lasting solar panels performance.

For more information on solar panels, feel free to contact us !


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