Photovoltaic Panels

photovoltaic panels

As technology constantly advances there are many new green technologies released each day that can help us improve our energy efficiency. One of these technologies is the "Thin-Film solar panel." How are thin-film solar panels being used by consumers today? How do they compare traditional Photovoltaic (PV) panels?

How solar cells

Since each solar panel is built with lots of individual cells, it is important to understand how these cells. According to GE, "Solar cells convert one form of energy (Sunlight) into another form of energy (electricity). When sunlight is reduced or stopped, for example, when a cloud passes in front of the sun, or when the sun sets in the night, the conversion process slows down or stops completely. When the sun, the conversion process resumes. Solar cells do not store electricity. For the night, a solar electric system needs some kind of energy storage, batteries often to take advantage of solar cells instead. "

What is a thin film solar panel?

A panel of thin film is known more for this manufacturing process than its actual size. Considered by many as part of the second generation of photovoltaic cells, thin film solar panels use a manufacturing process that involves applying several thin layers of a reactive substance, sunlight on a base material.

What are the benefits of thin film solar panels?

Unlike their "thick" cousins, thin-film panels use much less raw material in manufacturing. Moreover, cells thin film can be manufactured in a process of large area. This process can be continuous and automated. Another unique feature of the thin film is its ability to be deposited on flexible substrate materials. This means thin-film solar panels can be integrated into roofing tiles and other architectural products. layer panels fine are also much lighter than traditional photovoltaics.

Creating thin film solar panels

Like many new technologies is not all positive. Although thin-film solar panels can provide a way "to produce green electricity is important to realize cost underlying environment. thin panels, like other solar panels are very energy intensive to produce. They also require valuable limited resources such as silicon, copper and cadmium.

Panels vs Traditional thin film solar

While the efficiency of solar cells can vary widely from 6% for amorphous silicon based solar cells, to 42.8% for non-commercial use, the union of several research laboratories of the cell. The most common type available in the market for solar cell is "multicrystalline If" offering between 14-19% efficiency. Despite film Thin solar panels are gaining ground in terms of efficiency, currently offer between 7-9% efficiency.

The lowest rates efficiently low Why should I take into account the thin-film solar panels?

Thin-film solar panels are lighter than traditional crystalline photovoltaic materials. Thanks to its light weight that can be installed in a multitude of places you would never be able to install traditional solar panels. Consider installing a roof, thin-film solar panels are simpler to install because it can avoid large, ugly and expensive roof-mounted racks. Why do you want to install a rack when you can simply tie photovoltaic thin film laminates for your roof? According to a recent article in Mother Earth News takes only "Five to 10 minutes of each sheet of a PV panel roof."

Prices of Thin Film Solar Panel

If you are willing to negotiate loss of income for more flexible installation options that you may be surprised to learn that the thin film at a competitive price compared with the same size as traditional solar panels. Depending on where you buy your panels you should find prices between $ 4 and $ 5 per watt. Remember to include installation cost of your total purchase price of thin film solar panels require less labor to install.

Solar Incentives and discounts

Incentives and rebate programs vary widely depending on where you live, but due to the volume available I encourage you to search for incentives and rebates Online. Database of State Incentives for Renewable Efficiency (DSIR), managed by the Solar Center North Carolina is a great place to start. You can DSIR find here:

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While the thin film are not for all they can offer some people a flexible way to add solar power to your home or business. In today's market, thin-film panels are already competitive and that technology improves you can expect to increase their efficiency. Solar panels can gradually reduce our dependence on fossil fuel based energy. Residential electricity generated by fossil fuels is the third largest contributor of CO2 emissions in the United States.

Do your part to combat warming overall – by going solar.

Sam Greyhawk is an energy efficiency evangelist working with Cool-N-Save(tm), an Energy Star Partner, based in Huntington Beach, California.

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