Best Solar Cells to Use For a Home Solar Power System

Posted on : 09-02-2014 | By : Max | In : DIY Solar

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GUIDE: How To Make a DIY Solar Power System At Home

Solar Cell

Solar cells refer to any device that can convert the energy of sunlight into electrical energy through a process called photovoltaics. In recent times there has been a larger production of these cells and most power companies have begun investing a lot in solar cell research. The development of solar technology can be credited to the French physicist Antoine – Cesar whose research went a long way in the development of this technology. According to the encyclopedia Britannica, the first solar cell was constructed around 1883 by Charles Fritts.

Solar cells are used in various devices including calculators. Such devices often don’t use battery because they run on the energy from the solar cells.

There are several types of solar cells. Although they work on similar principles, they also have various different advantages and disadvantages.

Types of Solar Cells

1. Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
These are also popularly known as single crystalline silicon. They are easy to recognize due to their characteristic outer even coloring with a uniform look which shows high purity silicon. They are usually made up of silicon ingots that have a cylindrical shape. The four sides of the solar cells are manufactured from the cylindrical ingots basically to ensure optimum performance and to lower costs. One way to tell the difference between these and the polycrystalline solar panels is that polycrystalline solar cells look very rectangular with an absence of rounded edges.

2. Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
Solar Cells of this type (polysilicon and multi – crystalline silicon) were first introduced into the market in 1981.

3. Thin film Solar Cells (TFSC)
This type is manufactured through depositing several layers of thin photovoltaic material onto a substrate. They are sometimes referred to as thin film photovoltaic cells. The thin film layer cells are placed in categories based on which photovoltaic are put onto the substrate. Here are the different categories:
• Amorphous silicon (a-Si)
• Cadmium telluride (CdTe)
• Copper indium gallium-selenide (CIS/CIGS)
• Organic photovoltaic cells

4. Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Solar Cells
They are mainly used to small scale applications. A good example being calculators because the electrical power they produce is low. However this has changed in the recent years where due to innovations, they have been made capable of supporting some large scale application as well. Several layers of these cells can be put together through a process known as stacking. This tends to result in more efficiency functioning.

5. Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Solar Cell
This is practically the only revolutionary thin film solar panel new technology that has transcended the cost-efficiency of the crystalline silicon solar panels in a huge portion of today’s market (multi-kilowatt systems).

6. Copper Indium Gallium Selenide(CIS/CIGS) Cells
Compared to other thin film technologies, these solar cells have shown the most capability in terms of output and efficiency. They have lesser amounts of toxic materials such as cadmium which is found in the CdTe solar cells. The Commercial production of these solar panels began in Germany in 2011. Their efficiency rates for these panels occur in the range which is between 10-12 %.

7. Hybrid panels
It usually has a thin layer of amorphous solar film which is behind the monocrystalline cells. The extra amorphous solar film aids in the extraction of even more solar energy especially in low light environmental conditions. These are arguably the best and most efficient solar panels available and they also take very little space on the top of your roof. These panels are however more expensive than mono or polycrystalline panels.

8. Black frames and black backed panels
They are also referred to as all black solar panels. They have not only black frames but also a black backing behind the cells as opposed to the traditional white color. The main challenge with having the black backing is that it absorbs light and heat from the sun. This reduces their efficiency since you cannot get the benefit of some of the sunlight being reflected back to the cells. Another disadvantage is that the black solar panels heat a lot which can make them to be less effective.

It is possible to build your own solar panel at home. This can be done by making use of top DIY solar panel guides or purchasing a kit with the requirements and instructions of how to set up the solar panel. How would you determine which DIY solar panel is the best to use at home? Well this depends on a variety of factors. It’s important to have an expert assessment and recommend the best solar panel to set up for you. Many people have turned to solar panels as we embark on a question to search for more efficient and cost effective sources of energy.

Determining which solar panel to go for

1. Space
If you have little or limited space for solar panels such as thin film – solar panels (which is the case for a lot of people), crystalline based solar panels are the better choice for you. Both the mono and the polycrystalline are good choices when it comes to DIY solar panels. They offer similar benefits. Monocrystalline solar panels are usually less space efficient while the monocrystalline ones tend to emit more electrical voltage. This, however, is not always the case.

2. Price
Monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive but more space efficient. If you prefer the lowest cost per rated power, then it’s advisable that you invest in thin- film solar panels. This would be a much wiser choice when compared to mono or polycrystalline solar panels.

Before investing in a solar panel for use at home, try to consider as many factors are possible. The most important things to consider are things such as the space you have available on your roof, how much you have budgeted for investing in the panel, and how much power you hope to generate from the use of your solar panel. DIY solar panels aren’t that difficult to set up, most come with instructions on how to use them. However, if you need any help with setting it up, it’s good to look for an expert who can help you set it up. All the best in finding a good solar panel for yourself!

Comments (1)

I see solar power in my area; yet I cross so many obstacles trying to get it for my newly-purchased home! The video connected to this page is unavailable; just one more obstacle! Electricity is not my forte; but I’m willing to give a DIY a try. I truly believe it’s all a part of a governmental conspiracy to keep the American public in the dark about the God-given energy resources!

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