What material is used to make solar panels?

What material is used to make solar panels?

Solar modules are made from semiconductors, which convert solar radiation into electricity. This phenomenon is possible due to the photovoltaic effect. It is necessary to use the correct materials with proper properties. To achieve it, solar cells are mainly made from elements that are semiconductors. The most often used are selenium, silicon, and germanium. The most important is silicon which is characterized by having four valence electrons.

photovoltaic effect

The widely used solar panels are made from many properly connected solar cells. Due to their appropriate combination, it is possible to obtain the assumed electrical output parameters. Each of the most used crystalline solar panels is made of 60 or 72 photovoltaic cells.

These are the following technologies for making PV panels:

  • Crystalline – They divide into polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels, characterized by the highest efficiency.
  • Organic – They are manufactured from organic polymers, mostly carbon.
  • Thin-film – Their thickness usually does not exceed a few micrometers. The material they are made of is similar to crystalline solar panels.
  • Multi-layer – Every layer of semiconductors absorbs a different spectrum of solar radiation. For its production, many differently doped semiconductors are used.

The mentioned above materials and technologies are connected only with solar cell manufacturing. To construct a working solar panel, the list of component parts is much longer:

  • Frame
  • Glass
  • Encapsulant
  • Solar cell
  • Encapsulant
  • Back sheet
  • Junction Box
solar material