Today, homeowners and businesses alike rely heavily on electricity to power everything from appliances to lights. Many people are now turning to energy-efficient alternatives such as solar panels.
However, many people don’t realize just how strong these panels really are. Solar panels are made up of a series of smaller components called the solar cell. Generally, the more solar cells that are packed into a single panel, the stronger it will be and the longer it will last.
This article clears up any confusion you might have about what type of strength your solar panels should have in order to last for several years without problems.
What Is the Difference between Solar Cell and Module?
When purchasing a solar panel, you’ll often hear the term “module” used when referring to the complete solar panel system, and “solar cell” when referring to the photovoltaic (PV) cell inside the solar panel.
So, what is the difference between a solar cell and module? A module is the complete, separated unit of a solar panel. It’s basically the “glue” that holds the PV cell in place. A solar cell is the PV cell itself, which converts sunlight into electricity.
Many people believe that a module is composed solely of the solar cell, but this is not true. Most PV cell manufacturers also include a module within their product packaging. So, most solar panels include both a module and a solar cell. And safety and quality standards require that both be included in a given solar panel.
How Strong Should Solar Panel Be?
Generally, the stronger the solar panel, the longer it will last. So, how strong should your solar panel be? This is determined by three factors: the type of solar cells used, the panel installation method and the amount of panel real estate.
– The type of solar cells used makes up about 40% of panel strength. The rest is determined by the module installation method (how is the PV cell connected to the rest of the module) and the real estate available for mounting the solar cells (how much space is taken up by the PV cell from the edges of the panel).
– The panel installation method is also important. Here, there are three types of mounting methods: rigid mounting, semi-rigid mounting and flexible mounting. The method used affects how much the panel flexes during strong winds and how well it is protected from moisture.
– Finally, the real estate of the panel plays a role too. Often, the real estate will be divided up into multiple sections with each section having its own solar cell. This is done in order to maximize the amount of solar energy collected by the PV cell.
Popular Types of Solar Panels
– Monocrystalline: Also known as polycrystalline solar panels, monocrystalline solar panels are made up of one type of solar cell.
– Polycrystalline: Also known as multi-crystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels are made up of a variety of solar cells.
Which Type of Solar Panel Should You Buy?
From this, you can see that it’s important to know your needs and to think carefully about which type of solar panel you want to buy. But, before you do that, there are some general things that you should keep in mind.
One of them is to always buy the strongest type of solar panel that you can afford.
– You should always buy a solar panel with the highest panel efficiency rating. This is the measure of how much of the panel’s energy potential is converted into actual electricity.
– You should also buy a solar panel that is made up of high-quality solar cells. This is because high-quality solar cells often have more energy-potential than lower-quality cells.
– Lastly, you should always buy a solar panel that has a guaranteed lifespan.
Advantages of Stronger Solar Panels
– Higher Strength: This means that your solar panel will last longer before breaking down, which will save you money in the end.
– Stronger Warranty: If the manufacturer is confident in the strength of their solar panel, they will generally offer a longer warranty on it.
– Longer Lifespan: The longer lifespan of the solar panel will allow you to benefit less from re-investing in new solar panels over time.
– Less Risk of Replacement: In most states, you will not have to pay the full cost of a new solar panel if one fails. This is because the panel is considered to be under warranty.
Disadvantages of Weaker Solar Panels
– Less Power: Even though stronger solar panels produce more electricity, they also produce less power per unit area. So, you’ll need to purchase more solar panels to produce sufficient amounts of electricity for your home or business.
– Expensive to Install: The installation of a solar panel system is generally more expensive than installing a similar sized fossil fuel powered grid-connected system.
– Impact on Wildlife: Stronger solar panels have a negative impact on wildlife and ecosystems. They cause habitat loss and are more likely to be torn down or recycled after being in use for several years.
While strong solar panels could potentially be beneficial over the long term, they also come with a number of disadvantages that should be taken into consideration before purchasing one.
By following the advice provided in this article, you can safely make the decision to purchase a weaker solar panel.