How Solar Panels Are Made?

When we are wondering about how solar panels are made, the answer lies in a variety of handpicked materials to efficiently collect sunlight. The first question is, what material is used in solar panels? It uses not one but several materials such as silicon, EVA, tempered glass covering, metallic busbars, copper, silver, ABS plastic, and a lot more. When considering a significant purchase, such as a solar panel system, it’s normal to have a lot of questions regarding the panels and how they’re manufactured. After all, most of us want to be sure that the key decisions we make are perfectly understandable before spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on solar panel arrays.

Although a solar panel system performs a complex function, the components that comprise it are quite basic. Let’s zoom in on what it takes to produce an efficient solar panel and how this influences how it functions.

What is Solar Panel Made of?

In reality, a solar panel is a complex system of interconnected parts that, when exposed to sunlight, transform that energy into usable power. Despite its seemingly simple appearance, it is rather complex. The silicon wafers that make up solar cells are the central component of a solar panel. The photovoltaic effect, in which light from the sun releases electrons bound to silicon, is what these cells use to create energy.

Solar panels, however, do not just consist of silicon. Glass, which shields the sensitive solar cells from the sun while letting light in, and an anti-reflective coating are additional necessary components. For systems that are installed on roofs or the ground, a robust plastic or polymer frame provides structural support for the solar panels.

Solar panels come in a variety of styles, each with its composition and level of efficiency. Some examples include thin-film, polycrystalline, and monocrystalline. The very efficient yet pricey monocrystalline panels are constructed from single silicon crystals. On the other hand, polycrystalline panels are more affordable since they use numerous silicon crystals. Produced from amorphous silicon, thin-film panels provide the highest degree of flexibility at the expense of efficiency.

Why are Solar Panels made of Silicon?

Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells make up solar panels. The efficiency of photovoltaic cells determines how well a solar energy system works. These solar cells are built from silicon. 

Here are some of the reasons why Silicon is used.

Efficient Energy Conversion

Silicon is a perfect material for photovoltaic cells used in solar panels because of its semiconductor qualities, which allow it to effectively convert sunlight into energy.

Improved Performance

It is possible to significantly improve silicon’s capacity to absorb solar energy and transform it into electricity by doping it with impurities such as gallium and arsenic. In the end, this procedure makes solar panels more efficient and productive.

Available in Abundance

Silicon, after oxygen, is the most prevalent element in the Earth’s crust in terms of abundance and accessibility. It is a viable option for solar panel mass production because of its cheap cost and extensive availability.

Stability and Longevity

Solar panels made of silicon have an excellent track record for being long-lasting and stable. Solar panels made of silicon are chemically stable, so they can withstand extreme weather and still work at their best for a long time.

Cost-Effectiveness

Solar panels are affordable because silicon is abundant and easy to get. The widespread availability and low cost of silicon have allowed solar panel producers to mass-produce panels, bringing solar energy within reach of more people throughout the globe.

How Solar Panels are Made?

There is an interesting process that goes into making solar panels, which are emblems of clean energy everywhere, from raw materials to a completed product that can absorb sunlight and turn it into power. Although complex, the method is based on a few critical processes that demonstrate the inventiveness and accuracy needed to produce these technological wonders.

Sand

To answer the question, of how solar panels are made, let’s begin the journey from the first step: sand. One of the most ground-breaking innovations in energy technology relies on this simple material. A solar panel’s foundation is silicon, which is itself made from sand.

The process of turning sand into pure silicon, however, is not without its challenges. This procedure requires a high level of attention to detail, a lot of energy, and specialist knowledge. Arc furnaces, located deep inside specialized facilities, transform quartz sand by subjecting it to very high temperatures. These hot crucibles are used to melt down the sand, remove impurities, and purify the material until it becomes high-purity silicon, which is highly valued for its use in solar panels.

Ingots

You must be wondering about what are the major components used for making solar panels. To begin this whole shebang, we need to collect and refine silicon. After this, the silicon takes a dip in the melting pot. Over there, it undergoes a mesmerizing metamorphosis and emerges into solid ingots. They serve as a rock-solid foundation of solar energy. But these ingots aren’t just in the form of chunks. They are precisely shaped with some heat and sculpting. Once these are shaped correctly, it can maximize the efficiency when it comes to converting sunlight into electricity. 

However, we need higher conductivity too. Therefore, boron is added. The subtle addition of boron to the silicon mixture imparts a positive electrical charge, an essential component for effective energy conversion. Like giving silicon a superpower, it increases its ability to convert sunlight into energy even more effectively.

Wafers

Wafers are the next stage in the manufacturing process. The silicon ingot is cut into thin disks, commonly known as wafers. Precision cutting requires the use of a wire saw. The wafer is about as thin as a sheet of paper. Pure silicon is bright and may reflect sunlight. To limit the quantity of sunlight lost, an anti-reflective coating is applied to the silicon wafer.

Solar Cells

Once the wafers are ready, they are ready to perform. But they need metal conductors. They create a grid-like matrix on the wafer’s surface. This is to ensure that every ray of sunlight has no obstacles to convert into electricity. The coating will absorb sunlight rather than reflect it.

In an oven-like chamber, phosphorus diffuses in a thin layer over the surface of the wafers. This charges the surface with a negative electrical polarity. The combination of boron and phosphorus produces the positive-negative junction, which is necessary for the PV cell to work properly.

Making Solar Panels

This is the final step to of how solar panels are made. Now, the solar cells that we created, let’s bring all of them together and form solar panels. Soldering is the process used to join those cells. Solar panels come in different sizes, from small to large, depending on the needs. 48-cell, 60-cell, and 72-cell arrays are a few common sizes. In the front panel, there has to be a thin layer of glass, kind of a protective shield. 

This glass protects the cells from the elements such as rain and wind while simultaneously allowing them to absorb more sunlight, similar to a sunbathing session for solar cells. And don’t forget about the rear, which is where the backsheet comes in. Made of a tough polymer, it acts as the panel’s armor, shielding it from water and dirt so it can keep performing its work for a long time. There’s a little component within the panel known as a junction box. This clever mechanism, which functions somewhat like the panel’s control center, makes sure that all internal connections go smoothly.

Finally, but just as importantly, we have the frame. It functions as the panel’s backbone, providing stability and facilitating straightforward panel mounting wherever you need it, whether it is on a rooftop, a pole, or even in the midst of a field.

Conclusion

Now that we have learned how solar panels are made, let’s also learn about the manufacturer of solar panel materials, Vishakha Renewables. Without the premium parts that we at Vishakha Renewables manufacture, solar panels would not be complete.

Important components of solar panels are the solar encapsulants and backsheets, durable solar glass, and robust solar aluminum frames. Our crew works tirelessly to ensure that every component is of the highest quality and reliability so that the solar panels that use them are efficient and long-lasting.

We are proud to be a part of the revolution that solar energy can bring about in both your lives and the environment. We are trying to create pollution-free, renewable energy options for the sake of future generations.

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