Tips for choosing the best solar panels

Tips for choosing the best solar panels
Tips for choosing the best solar panels

Solar panels are able to convert energy from sunlight into electrical energy so you don't have to worry about running out of electricity. However, it takes good solar panels to get enough solar power. To help you find the best solar panels, I created this article.

Getting to know solar panels

The energy crisis has increasingly become a worldwide concern in recent decades. This makes many parties vying to find alternative renewable energy sources.

One source of energy that is starting to become prima donna is solar energy. This proves that solar panel technology is the future. However, how do solar panels work best? Check out my discussion of Tips for choosing the best solar panels below.

1. The working principle of solar panels: Did you know that sunlight is made up of tiny particles called photons? Well, the function of solar panels is to capture these particles, turn them into electrons, and generate an electric current. Energy changes that occur in solar panels are photovoltaic.

However, the electric current generated by solar panels is still in the form of direct current (DC). This electric current cannot be used to operate electronic devices. For that we need an inverter or a device that will convert direct current into alternating current (AC). After that, then you can drain it for household electricity needs. This is the main benefit of solar panels.

2. Difference between solar panels and solar cells: Solar panels and solar cells are often heard interchangeably. However, are solar panels the same as solar cells? Well, solar panels are in the form of plates with rows and columns.

In these rows and columns, solar cells are collected which will work to convert sunlight into a current of electrons. So, solar cells combined in a panel are called solar panels.

The solar cell itself is the space between two layers of a semiconductor, usually silicon. Semiconductors are considered the right choice because they are able to conduct electricity when exposed to light.

Light that penetrates the semiconductor layer will channel its energy to the atoms in the layer. The electrons then move to form a direct current.

How to choose the best solar panels when you want to buy them?

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Many companies are competing to produce solar panels. Various choices make you have to be more observant in choosing solar panels to install at home. How to choose a good solar panel? Read on for my guide below to find the best solar panel products.

Understand the types of solar panels based on their materials

Solar panels on the market are generally divided into three types based on the material. Each type of solar panel has its own character and advantages.

1. Monocrystalline: The highest efficiency, judging from the name, monocrystalline, it seems that this panel is composed of whole silicon crystals so that the manufacturing process is more expensive. Monocrystalline solar cells are usually black in color which is the result of the reaction of sunlight with single crystals. The advantage of this panel is its high efficiency, which is 15-20%.

If your space is limited and the need to save electricity is high, consider monocrystalline solar panels. You will spend relatively higher money in the beginning. But this panel is very efficient, you will save enough on monthly electricity costs.

2. Polycrystalline: Has a lower cost, Polycrystalline comes from melted crystalline silicon pieces. After that, the silicon crystals will be held together in a mold and then cut into panels. It is easier to manufacture so the price is more affordable. The hallmark of polycrystalline solar panels is that their surface will turn blue when exposed to light.

The efficiency of polycrystalline solar panels is still lower than monocrystalline, which is about 13-16%. This means you have to increase the number of solar panels to get the same power as monocrystalline. If you are on a tight budget, but have enough space available, these solar panels are a viable option.

3. Thin film: Suitable for portable solar panels, Thin film solar panels can be made of different materials. Commonly used materials are cadmium telluride (CdTe), amorphous silicon (a-Si), and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS). The surface of this thin film will turn blue or black when exposed to sunlight (depending on the material).

Compared to the other two solar panels, the efficiency of this panel is the smallest, which is around 8.5%. The cells may also be 3.5 times smaller than monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. However, this solar panel has a light weight and thin material. This makes installation costs cheaper. Thin films are also often used as a material for making portable solar panels.

Know the solar panel power tolerance

When you want to buy solar panels, pay attention to the tolerance of the electricity generated or the tolerance of the power. For example, it says 5% power tolerance. That is, for a solar panel that lists 100 wp, you can expect 95–105 peak watts. The smaller the tolerance number, the more accurate the prediction of solar panel energy gain.

Unfortunately, not all sellers include this information in their product descriptions. So, you may have to ask the seller directly if you want information on this.

Carefully calculate peak wattage requirements

Watt peak (wp) is the highest power a solar panel can produce when sunlight is in high intensity. The watt peak information listed on the solar panel product shows the maximum power potential in one hour.

So far, solar panels on the market produce 5-250 wp, even the newest 450 wp. If you just need to charge a charger, a 5 wp solar panel is enough. However, if the solar power supply is used for various purposes, look for solar panels that are capable of generating large amounts of power.

By knowing your peak wattage requirements, you will avoid the mistake of buying a solar panel that is too small. Besides, there's definitely no point in buying bulky solar panels, even if you just need a patio light.

Consider the practical side in choosing solar panels

Manufacturers understand that not everyone is willing and able to change their lifestyle to green in an instant. Changing electrical installations at home to be entirely sourced from sunlight is also not easy. However, you can start with simple and practical things.

You can use solar panels to provide energy for garden lights. That way, the lights will illuminate the garden at night without making the electricity bill swell. You can also use a charger that comes with a solar panel. This is a form of energy and cost savings as well as a contribution to environmental sustainability.

About solar panel mounting system

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In addition to knowing the types and components of solar panels, you also have to know the installation system. There are three types of solar panel installation systems that affect the way electrical energy is used.

1. Off grid system: Selected when you decide to fully use solar electricity. Installation costs are relatively high and you must have sufficient batteries or accumulators to accommodate solar energy. However, you do not depend on the power supply of conventional power sources. This system is suitable for areas that have not been reached by conventional electricity.


2. On grid system: This is done if you want to maintain conventional power supply. You will use batteries from conventional electricity to accommodate solar energy from the panels. So, you can save electricity. Unfortunately the electricity in the house will stop flowing in the event of a blackout.

3. Hybrid system combines off-grid and on-grid systems: So, solar energy will go into the battery. If household electricity consumption exceeds the energy in the battery, electricity from conventional electricity will automatically flow.

Conclusion

Solar panels are indeed a major breakthrough in the energy crisis. More and more people are realizing the importance of switching to energy sources other than fossils. You just need to get the right solar panels for your needs.

For that, identify the type of material, understand the efficiency and power tolerance, then calculate the appropriate watt peak. I hope you will get the best solar panel product when you want to buy it.
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