Solar panels and solar cells – what’s the difference?

Solar panels and solar cells are both integral, closely linked, parts of a residential solar energy system. When reading about solar energy system, it may seem as if these titles are almost interchangeable. Writers favor to them both when talking energy output and production, and often so without explanation of how these parks work. Anyway, each plays a distinct role. Solar cells have all the parts necessary to convert sunlight to solar energy for your home. Solar panels gather and direct all of that power output.

The photovoltaic system

Residential solar energy systems are favored to as photovoltaic system in the solar industry. This differentiates them from solar technologies, such as concentrated solar power and solar thermal. Photovoltaic systems have different parts and each plays an important role.

The full system starts with the solar cells. These cells are where sunlight is exactly used to generate electricity. Solar panels are a mixture of multiple solar cells. These cells are arranged in such a way that the solar panels can capture and gather the electrical output of each solar cell and send it along a specified path. Once the solar panels have captured the power, they send it all to an inverter which changes the DC electricity created by the cells to the AC power you use in your house. After this, this power is send through your meter and into your house. All of the parts of photovoltaic system have distinct roles, but each is so reliant on the other parts that it is simple to confuse them.

The role of solar panels

The solar panels role is to protect, amplify and direct electricity. Solar cells can generate only a restrict amount of power. When building a solar power system, multiple solar cells are linked in series or parallel circuits to make a solar module. This process higher currents and more power. The modules also seal all of the solar cells and wiring in a defensive case to guard it from the weather. These modules are then wired combine as a solar panel. It is vital to note that a solar panel may consist of just single module or multiple, meaning panels and modules are sometimes used interchangeably. These solar panels are pre-wired and all set to be fixed on your rooftop.

By linking all of these parts into solar panels, the outcome power has a more precise path to follow. When the electrical current leaves the solar cells to travel via the electrical load, it is captured by the load and send via the solar panels. The technique by which the solar cells are wired combine determines how the electrical current will flow via the solar panels. Whichever may it flows, it will direct the power from all the solar cells combine. All the power with then be directed out of the solar panels and move to the inverter, where the rest of the photovoltaic process is done.

Solar panels and solar cells work combine to generate the electricity you need for your house. Although they are closely related, with the solar panels exactly containing the solar cells, each plays its own part. Considered as one, the full photovoltaic systems jobs like an assembly line. Every part perform its work alone, and thus passes its product on to the next part. Each product is very important for the next section to do its work. Only the solar cells can do alone, but its products are useless without the rest of the system. Your full solar energy system is a clean and quiet product line working to make power for you in an efficient and natural way.

The role of solar cells

Solar cells generate power through a natural reaction known as photovoltaic effect. This is where the system gets its name. The general premise of photovoltaic effect is that sunlight makes power in certain materials by knocking their outer electrons loose.

There are different layers within solar cells. The most vital elements are the 2 semiconductors in the center. The high semiconductor is a negative layer, which means the materials atoms have extra electrons. These electrons are produced by sunlight and the extra electrons are knocked loose. The base semiconductor is a positive layer. This materials atoms have area for more electrons. A obstacle is formed between them. Negative conductors on top of the cell and positive conductors on base force the electrons to travel around the cell in a specific direction. This makes the electrical current you will use. The conductor push the current out of the cell into an electrical load, which captures the power. The electrons then continue their path until they re-enter the cell and link with the positive layer. This completes the circuit and permits the process to continue. The full objective of the solar cell is to make sure this process flow unimpeded so that you get as much power as possible.

Difference between solar panels

Solar cells are the general unit of solar technology. Multiple solar cells are linked to make one solar panel or module. The basic way that solar cells combine sunlight into power is the same for every panel, but there are differences in producing that make differences between solar electricity for home.

When it comes to the solar cells themselves, the most general types are polycrystalline and monocrystalline. The difference between these 2 solar cells stems from the producing process and how the silicone they are made of is melted and then reformed. When producing monocrystalline solar panels, silicon is melted and made into one crystal cylinders. These cylinders are then cut into four-sided figure wafers to be used for the solar cells. The process is more costly and wastes some silicon, but it outcomes in higher efficiency panels because of the higher purity of the silicon crystal.

When producing polycrystalline solar panels, silicon is melted, shaped into a square mold, and permitted to cool. Multiple crystals from as the silicon chills within the mold, and the square mold can then be cut into neat, square wafers for the solar cells. This process is less costly and decreases silicon waste, but the outcome is a less competent panel because of the lower purity of the silicon crystal.