What Are Solar Panels Made Of?

Solar power is becoming an increasingly attractive solution for Australian households looking to reduce their energy footprint and benefit from cost savings. Solar panels are at the heart of any solar installation, and it’s important to understand what they are made of before making the switch. 

What Are Solar Panels?

Solar panels are devices used to absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. They generate DC electricity, which is then redirected to an inverter and converted to AC electricity for use in the home. Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, also called solar cells. PV cells are made of a semi-conductive material, most commonly silicone, which is used to create an electric field. When sunlight hits the PV cells, it causes the electrons to move in a particular direction, thus creating an electric current.

What Materials Are Used?

Solar panel manufacturers use a variety of materials to develop their products. Silicon is the most common material used in the PV cells, followed by glass and polymer film. The panel frames are made from anodised aluminium, which is strong and durable enough to support their weight. The wiring used to connect the cells also needs to be strong enough to withstand the extreme weather conditions found in Australia. Finally, a protective coating is added to protect the solar cells from water damage and to reduce reflectivity. This coating is usually made from a transparent material such as Tedlar. 

How Are the Materials Combined?

The materials used in solar panels must be arranged in a specific way for them to generate electricity. First, the desired number of PV cells is combined to create a module, which acts as the smallest unit of a larger panel. Multiple modules are then connected together to form an array. This array is placed onto the aluminium frame and sealed to protect the cells from weather damage. Finally, the wiring is connected, and the protective coating is applied to the panel. 

Are Solar Panels Recyclable?

Solar panels are made from recyclable materials, and their useful life can be far longer than their warranty period. In fact, solar panels can last up to 30 years if they are installed and maintained correctly. Fortunately, the materials used to create them can be recycled and used to create new solar panels or other energy-efficient products. 

Despite their relatively simple appearance, solar panels are made from a combination of sophisticated materials designed to make them efficient and durable. At Regen Power, we use only the highest quality materials to ensure our customers get the most out of their solar panels. As solar technology continues to develop, we’re continuously investing in the latest technology and materials available. If you’re thinking about switching to solar, get in touch with our team and discover how we can help you make the transition.

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