What is solar panel made of
First, to answer “what aremade from?” in more depth, we’re going to outline the step-by-step production procedure. Although the sun is a sustainable energy source and manufacturing processes have gotten more efficient in recent years, s’ production remains tedious and relatively expensive.
Solar panels consist of 60 or 72 silicon cells. When sunlight hits these cells, electrons within the silicon at an atomic level are shaken free and move around. An electric current is simply the movement or flow of electrons in the same direction.
What are solar panels made of: The production process
Step-1 Sand is converted to crystallized silicone
We now know what is used to produce solar panels. However, producing silicon from sand needs a lot of energy and is a pricey operation. Crystallized silicon is created from sand at a very high temperature in a furnace. The procedure of heating the sand in the furnace forms solid silicone rocks, which are recovered from the bottom once it has cooled.
Step-2 The formation of ingots
The rocks of crystalline silicon that are retrieved from the bottom of the furnace are then melted together. This technique generates ingots, which are essentially a block of metal in a solid cylindrical shape. When the silicone is heated together, the machine operator ensures that the atoms align throughout the process and infuses the boron. The insertion of boron gives ingots positive electrical polarity, which is required later in the process.
Step-3 Grind, polish, & wafer
Once the silicone ingots have completely cooled, they are ground and polished to provide smooth, flat sides. Once the ingot is smooth and flat, producers slice discs, also known as silicon wafers, that are only a few millimeters thick. The silicon wafers are cut as thinly as possible to reduce waste and boost production efficiencies.
Step-4 Polarising conductors
A metal conductor, such as boron, is applied to the silicon wafers. Two forms of silicone are formed:
- N-type silicone: this lays on the surface of the solar panel.
- P-type silicone: this lies below the N-type silicon.
We know from physics that positive and negative energy will attract or repel each other. The treatment of the N-type silicon and P-type silicone causes a power imbalance in the solar panel. As a result of this imbalance, the N-type and P-type silicon wafers will try to fill the gaps in each other.
Step-5 Weaving a solar grid
The solar cells, or N-type and P-type silicones, are unbalanced to conduct electricity, thus while building the solar panel, the silicones are layered and soldered together in a grid-like matrix. When sunlight hits the panel, the imbalance motivates the imbalanced silicone electrons to travel to the right of each other. This process occurs repeatedly, and it is this repetition that generates electricity.
Step-6 Glass & coating the solar panel
Robust and weatherproof glass is what are solar panels comprised of in the outer layer. The glass is added during the production process, and the solar panels are coated with an anti-reflective coating which increases the absorption of sunlight, rather than reflecting it.
Solar panels are then placed in a sun-drenched spot at the property by a team of experts who will link the solar panel to your current electricity infrastructure. Typically, during residential installation, solar panels are put to the roof as it is an area that has significant sun exposure, and is often a discrete location that won’t affect the façade of the property.
Now that we know what are solar panels made of, it’s essential to consider whether solar panel installation is right for you. The first and foremost requirement of installing solar panels is to have a roof, or space big enough. Your location’s climate will also impact the probability of you maximizing the electrical output of your solar panels.