What Exactly Is A Solar Panel?

A solar panel consists of a series of individual solar cells connected together to make up one large solar panel. The number of cells in a panel, and the number of panels in a complete installation, are determined by the electricity output required.

These vary in size from the finger-nail-sized panels we see on calculators, cell phone chargers, and other small electronic devices, to medium-sized panels installed on rooftops of houses and industrial buildings right through to installations covering several acres, providing solar-generated electricity to communities.

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Each of the solar cells is typically made from wafers of silicon which are able to convert the ultraviolet part of the sunlight into electricity. Most solar panels have a toughened glass covering over the cells to protect them.

When sunlight falls on the silicon wafers in the solar cells, the chemical reaction caused by the solar energy generates electricity. This electricity then passes through the wiring in the panel to a regulator and then either into storage batteries or to an inverter where the DC electricity that has been generated is converted to AC electricity.

If you have a domestic panel on your house, this AC power can then be used to operate your household appliances, pumps, and other electric devices you may have in your home. There are different types of solar panels, depending on what they are to be used for.

Amorphous Panels are most suitable for use as portable panels as they can provide greater resistance to being slightly shaded; they are usually tougher and can even be made flexible. This means that they can be used in any situation where a portable solar panel is preferred. For example, they are widely used by people traveling in RVs, motor homes, 4WDs, and boats and for other similar applications.