Solar Panel Construction and Installation

Dave Blackwell
July 11, 2012 — 1,191 views  

Solar panels or solar modules are assemblies of PVs or photovoltaic cells. These PVs are used as a component of a larger system to produce and supply electricity for commercial and home use. A PV system usually consists of arrays of solar panels, battery, and inverter and wiring. These panels use the light energy of the sun to generate electricity. The generation is called photovoltaic effect. Solar panels are made with crystalline silicon or gallium arsenide.

Top end and more efficient solar panels is assembled using amorphous silicon alloy. Panels using this technology are more efficient, durable, thinner and more expensive than regular crystalline PVs. Crystalline silicon are cut into tiny disks about 1cm thick. It is polished and treated from any damage during cutting. Dopants are added after the silicon is polished and metal conductors are spread across each of the disks. The cells are connected electrically to one another and the rest of the system. A thin layer of protective glass is bonded after thermal cement has been applied. This cement prevents the panel form overheating that may cause the PVs to break down or lose its efficiency. It's best to elevate the solar panel above for air to circulate and cool the panels. PV panels can produce electricity from a range of light frequencies depending on the construction.

There are private companies or solar energy providers that sell these types of panels. For home use, the panels are usually installed on rooftops, building roof tops or stand alone assemblies. For best results, the panels should be installed where it gets more direct sunlight. Remove any obstruction that can block sunlight going to the system. Try to trace the path of the sun and if any object will cast any shadow over the PVs. Shadows will greatly affect the efficiency of the system.

There three mounting methods for PVs. Fixed racks are stationary mounts as the sun moves across the sky. Ground mountsare held in place by racks or frames that are attached to ground based supports. Examples of these are pole mounts which are embedded to concrete, ballasted footing mounts uses weight to secure the solar panel system into position and does not require ground posting. Foundation mounts uses concrete slabs and poured footings to secure the panels. Roof mountings are panels held in place by racks or frames attached to roof based supports. Pole mounts and ballasted footing mounts are also used to secure the panels. 

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Dave Blackwell