The answer to the energy conservation in the critical juncture of Global Warming and Greenhouse Effect is the renewable energy source and the solar power is the most viable energy in this context. The solar panels, also known as the PV or Photovoltaic Modules come with an inverter, solar power tracking mechanism, storage battery pack and interconnection wiring. With these panels, around 100-365 Watts of electricity can be generated efficiently while reducing the contribution on carbon footprint.
Be it for heating water or supplying electricity to residential or industrial institutions, the utility of these modules are far-fetched. So let’s have a look at what is solar panel?
Solar Cell Panels –What They Are
By absorbing the thermal energy of the sun, the photovoltaic solar cells convert light energy into electrical energy. The panels like a 100 watt solar panel does not depend solely on the sunlight, with its infrared photo-detector system, it can work efficiently even in the low light conditions or under artificial lights.
The DC Power output determines the rating of each solar cell panel and the value of Maximum Power Point determines the efficiency of the modules. Both silicon based and non-Silicon based solar modules are available and they are recyclable to reduce their effect on environment.
The Price Of Solar Electric Panels
The solar panel price being cheaper than the non-renewable electricity has been the main USP. Generally the cost of the module ranges in between INR 30-50 based on power generated per watt. Those modules with higher Watt capacity are less expensive than those with lower Watt capacity.
Grid-Connected PV Solar Panel System is the best choice for those areas where power cuts occur less frequently. According to inverter used, the price varies but generally it ranges around 50-70 thousand per kWp.
Where power cuts are very frequent, Off-Grid Solar Panels for home are suitable. These are expensive as the battery needs to be replaced in 4 to 7 years. The cost ranges approximately one lakh.
For Monocrystalline panels, price ranges between INR 42-50 per Wp while for Polycrystalline panels, price ranges between INR 30-88 per Wp
Life Span Of Solar Power Panels
The longevity of the solar power panels are guaranteed to be around 25-30 years by the manufacturer. The best thing is that even after their warranty period is over, they still continue to work, only with less efficiency. In many houses and business or industries, the solar modules are reported to last for more than forty or fifty years. As the panels lose maximum around 0.5% efficiency every year, you can be assured of the durability.
Types Of Cheap Solar Panels For Sale
There are various solar panel systems for home as well as institutions and industries they are –
Monocrystaline Silicon Solar Panels
The Monocrystaline solar panel looks distinct with the uniform coloration with high-quality silicon. These panels are created by slicing cylindrical silicon ingots to form wafers. These panels with efficiency ranging around 15 to 20% are the most efficient solar panels. They need small space and have the highest longevity of around 25 years.
Polycrystaline Silicon Solar Panels
These solar electric panels are perfect square shaped and are made from raw silicon. They are least expensive and ensure lesser silicon waste. They are less heat resistant than monocrystaline panels and their longevity can be compromised in excessive temperature. They are suitable to use for homes.
Thin-Film Solar Cells
The TFSC are of four types namely Organic Photovoltaic Cells, Cadmium Telluride, Copper Indium Gallium Selenide and Amorphous Silicon. With an efficiency of 7 to 13%, these are not small solar panels and are installed in vast area to feed energy to vast expanse.
BIPV -Building Integrated Photovoltaics
These are expensive as they are attached on the glass surface of roofs, facades, walls and windows. They can integrate thin-film cells or crystalline based cells to incorporate photovoltaics for the entire building. Being expensive, they are not suitable solar panel system for home.
What to Consider While Buying Solar Panels
While you plan to buy solar panels, there are a few things that you should remember such as –
Types –Check whether you need monocrystaline, polycrystalline or thin-film panels while looking for the best solar panels. The BIPVs will also be a good choice if cost and space is not a factor for you.
Roof Space –As the panels work efficiently if the roof is south facing, check the roof suitability accordingly. The east and west facing panels will also work effectively if the panels are in the angle of 30 to 35-degrees.
Cost –The solar panel cost is among the prevalent factor to consider while you determine the feed-in tariff including export tariff (payment for the unused electricity to transfer to the grid) and generation tariff (fixed amount for your electricity generated per unit). Keep your expectation rational according to the types of panels you would get.
Efficiency –According to the solar panel size and components, the efficiency depends. Those with less frequency can feed a building or a house while for large complex, you need more efficient panels.
Mounting System –make sure that the mounting system is certified and rated to withstand adverse weather. The mounting roof too should be cyclone proof.
Manufacturer warranty –Although the solar panels are known as durable, you should check the warranty period offered by manufacturer.
Small and Portable Solar Panels –Their Utility
For camping or RV trips, the small portable solar panels are the best choice as they can easily fit onto the vehicle or on the tent and are less heavy than the conventional PV panels. These panels can ensure you as much as 100 to 200 watt power and are affordable to buy. You will get both monocrystaline and polycrystalline variants.
Flexible Solar Panel Details
The flexible solar panels unlike the traditional panels which contain thinly sliced silicon wafers having the width of just a few micrometers, has grapheme electrodes. As the name suggests, these panels can be bent to some extent as they are thin and stable. The transparency of Graphene and least brittleness has made these panels popular in RV vehicles, cruises, yachts, boats and tents. According to your outdoor requirement, you can choose any mini solar panel which does not need any installation cost.
However, they have low efficiency level i.e. 11-13% for thin film panels and 14-17% for monocrystaline or polycrystalline panels.
High Efficiency Solar Panels On Market
High efficiency solar panels ensure savings on electric bill and maximum use of energy by converting energy at greater rate of supply and that too at low cost. While most panels on the market have the efficiency of 15-17%, the highest efficiency available on the market currently is 22.5%, although they are quite expensive. However, just running after the maximum efficiency record does not ensure consistent and strong efficiency of solar power.
For example, the 12v solar panel is among the efficient panels on the market. This panel is manufactured with a silicon block and comprises of a great number of crystals. It comes with warranty of 25 years and functions in low light conditions which make it popular among customers.
Solar energy is the most effective source to reduce carbon footprint. It should be used while having a clear insight of the types, utility and cost of the solar panels.