How solar panels produce energy – light or heat?

|How solar panels produce energy – light or heat?

How solar panels produce energy – light or heat?

Solar panels have undeniably become the core player in the future of energy. If you are a new solar investor, then it is essential for you to understand everything about solar panels. You should find the answers to the key questions and science behind the power generation through sunlight. For most of you, it is difficult to decipher how panels use raw sun rays for energy production.

Do you often wonder whether panels use light energy or heat energy? What is the actual source that is responsible for the energy?

When you get an array of panels installed on your site, you realize that  they are absorbing both light and heat energy. However photovoltaic panels use only light for energy harvesting. Nowadays, there are two different technologies which are being used for electricity production – solar thermal and solar photovoltaic. In solar thermal technology, panels accumulate the heat of the sun and then convert it into electricity. These panels are integrated with the hot water system. They are often used to generate steam for turbines and in the household hot water system. On the other hand, in PV technology, panels capture sun rays and directly convert the light into electricity through silicon semiconductors.

Temperature and spectrum of light

Solar thermal panels use heat for electricity production so they are less effective in the winter season. The lifespan of these thermal panels is often shorter than PV panels. Most investors also assume that PV panels work best when they are exposed to scorching summer sun. But, that’s not the case! PV panels work more efficiently in ambient weather conditions meaning when the sun is strong but the temperature is low (less than 27 degrees). Most PV panels lose their efficiency in ultra-hot weather, although there are panels in the market like Novergy twin cell modules which guarantee 60% more performance than the conventional counterparts because of their low-temperature coefficient.

In PV panels, to harvest light energy, the sun uses a photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaics use the visible spectrum of light, some of which can be seen with the human eye while the ultraviolet and infrared light cannot be seen. Clouds can block the visible light but they cannot block the spectrum, which clears one misunderstanding investors often have in their mind that panels do not function in cloudy conditions. PV technology is more reliable and sturdier than solar thermal technology.

Temperature and light both have a massive impact on the production of electricity. Every installation is unique as every site faces the sun in a different angle, so the panel orientation also matters. A well-oriented panel can capture a good amount of light. The location of the site has a vital role to play in the amount of light that enters the modules.

If we compare solar thermal technology with the PV technology, PV is comparatively new and better. PV modules come in a myriad of options like – architectural PV (BIPV), twin-cell PV, monocrystalline, polycrystalline etc. They provide energy for more than 25 years, so the lifespan is considerably much longer than thermal ones.  PV panels performance do not drop in winters. They can cover most of your site’s energy requirements and they are incredibly efficient in the summers.

How do PV panels work?

As stated earlier, PV panels use the photovoltaic effect to generate electricity, and they do it with the light, not the temperature. Temperature cannot alter how much light the panel is absorbing; however, it can determine the amount of conversion. Like any other electronic device, panel performance also drops if they are extremely hot or cold.

PV panels are made of solar cells. A solar cell has multiple layers and has a basic working principle. It converts sunlight directly into DC energy. When a solar light hits the solar cell, it causes electrons to move from their usual stable positions. That allows the silicon layer to move through the electric circuit and to produce electricity.

The first layer works as a transparent protective medium. It facilitates light to pass through the silicon layer while protecting it from environmental damages. The second layer anti-reflective coating helps in increasing the absorption of light into the cell. It improves solar cell efficiency. The third layer is a silicon layer – it’s the most important layer because that’s where the electricity is generated. The two types of silicon – p-type and n-type, they are put together in contact with each other. The light that enters the layer increases electrons mobility in the two silicon. This permits them to pass through the electric circuit with voltage. The final layer – metal conductors help in extracting the mobilized electrons

Novergy panel – truly a power-house. 

Novergy is one of the prominent solar panel manufacturers of India. With more than 13 years of experience in the solar industry, we have manufactured some top-of-the-line twin-cell, polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels. Our panels ensure up to 20.7% efficiency. We provide a multitude of promising solar solutions with NIL replacement records.

Regardless of weather conditions, our panels are known to perform efficiently and provide a seamless supply of power to your site. They are manufactured under stringent quality standards. They have a low-temperature coefficient and come with an anti-reflective coating to ensure maximum energy harvest. We are a one-stop solution for everything related to solar, we guarantee the timely execution of a project with our highly-skilled engineers. We take care of the full cycle of a project – from designing a site plan to commissioning. Know more about Novergy Solar solutions by visiting novergysolar.com now!

By | 2020-04-20T12:36:08+00:00 April 20th, 2020|Solar Modules, Solar Panels|Comments Off on How solar panels produce energy – light or heat?

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