All about photovoltaic panels (PV)
Photovoltaic (PV) panels, also known as solar panels, absorb solar energy and convert it into electricity. Electricity generated by solar panels is mostly used to power equipment and household appliances.
The most common PV panel systems are grid-connected. This means that at night when solar panels don’t work, you can use grid power. Furthermore, if the solar system provides more energy than the set requirement, additional energy can be sold to the grid.
Another model of PV systems is offline systems that are not connected to the grid. In this case, the battery can be used to use battery-generated energy. Because of the independent PV systems, this system can be used in areas where the availability of the power grid does not exist.
Today, countless people use PV panels to power their homes or businesses.
How do photovoltaic (PV) panels work?
Solar panels are made up of small parts called photovoltaic cells that are connected. Photovoltaic cells are made of semiconductor materials, and silicon is the most widely used in the industry.
Photovoltaic cells are usually very small, but combining them creates solar panels and arrays that can be very efficient. When the sun shines on the cells, an electric field is created. The stronger amount of sunlight, the more electrical energy is generated.
However, solar cells are also efficient for generating electricity on overcast days and can produce less energy.
Photovoltaic panels are in different shapes and sizes that can be used based on the need and space specified.
Advantages of using photovoltaic (PV) panels
The use of photovoltaic panels as a power source could have many benefits. Among these advantages, the following are:
- Saving electricity use costs after setting up and installing solar panels
- Generate revenues from the power station produced by solar panels
- Recyclable and environmentally friendly
Types of solar panels
Solar panels are divided into 3 categories:
- Monocrystalline PV panels
- Polycrystalline PV panels
- Thin-film PV panels
Depending on the needs and budget, the panel can be selected. There are countless types of solar panels, but these three types are the most used.
Monocrystalline photovoltaic panels are the most efficient type of panels. They are made of a silicon piece and make the flow of electricity in the cell easier. That is why they are more expensive.
Photovoltaic panels have lower performance than monocrystalline because they have been built by melting several silicon segments, making it difficult to pass through the electrical current. These panels are more cost-effective because of the easier generation of polycrystalline panels.
Thin-film photovoltaic panels are the cheapest and least effective type of panels. But if you are looking for flexible solar panels, thin-film is a great option.
PV panels are not to be confused with solar thermal panels, which are used to produce domestic hot water.
Maintenance and Cleaning photovoltaic panels (PV)
In general, photovoltaic panels do not require special care. But if in areas with low rainfall and wind or the panel is installed with a minimum tilt, dust can affect the electricity generated.
Besides, solar panels in areas close to freeways, factories, and airports absorb more mass, oil, and soil, which prevents productivity.
Over a long time, solar panels can lose 15 to 25 percent of their efficiency if not cleaned. Therefore, maintaining and cleaning solar panels can increase their efficiency and longevity.
Can anyone clean solar panels?
Yes, but always consult your manufacturer or read the specific instructions for cleaning and installing solar panels. Here are some tips to help you clean your panels.
- Select a cloudy day or early hour in the morning or at night to clean the panels. Because solar cells heat up, they can be difficult to clean during the day.
- Start with cleaning the leaves and material released on the panel surface.
- Remove dust using low-pressure water. High water pressure can damage the solar panels.
- Do not use hard metal tools to clean up the clutter. This can affect its longevity and its effectiveness.
Solar panels and the future …
Solar panels have a major role in future energy supply and an appropriate alternative to non-renewable energy sources. Maintenance and care of these panels can improve their efficiency and performance, and helping long-term use of solar energy.