Solar Panel

Solar panel or photo-voltaic (PV) module is an assembly of photo-voltaic cells mounted in a framework for installation. Solar panels use sunlight as a source of energy to generate direct current electricity.

A collection of PV modules is called a PV panel, and a system of PV panels is called an array.

Arrays of a photovoltaic system supply solar electricity to electrical equipment.

Power typically ranges from 100 to 365 Watts (W).

©TEAHUB

Photovoltaic modules use light energy (photons) from the Sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. Most modules use wafer-based crystalline silicon cells or thin-film cells. The structural (load carrying) member of a module can be either the top layer or the back layer.

Cells must be protected from mechanical damage and moisture. Most modules are rigid, but semi-flexible ones based on thin-film cells are also available. The cells are usually connected electrically in series, one to another to the desired voltage, and then in parallel to increase current.

The power (in watts) of the module is the mathematical product of the voltage (in volts) and the current (in amperes) of the module.

The manufacture specifications on solar panels are obtained under standard condition which is not the real operating condition the solar panels are exposed to on the installation site.

A PV junction box is attached to the back of the solar panel and functions as its output interface. External connections for most photovoltaic modules use MC4 connectors to facilitate easy weatherproof connections to the rest of the some system. A USB power interface can also be used.

For optimum performance, a solar panel needs to be made of similar modules oriented in the same direction perpendicular to direct sunlight. Bypass diodes are used to circumvent broken or shaded panels and optimize output. These bypass diodes are usually placed along groups of solar cells to create a continuous flow.

©WIKIPEDIA

Several companies have begun embedding electronics into PV modules. This enables performing MPPT for each module individually, and the measurement of performance data for monitoring and fault detection at module level.

Some of these solutions make use of power optimizers, a DC-to-DC converter technology developed to maximize the power harvest from solar photovoltaic systems.

As of about 2010, such electronics can also compensate for shading effects, wherein a shadow falling across a section of a module causes the electrical output of one or more strings of cells in the module to fall to zero, but not having the output of the entire module fall to zero.

©WIKIPEDIA

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