Solar panels in Tasmania have become more affordable than ever due to manufacturing efficiencies. They are increasingly seen on rooftops of many homes and commercial properties.
But what solar panels are made of and how they are manufactured remains a mystery to many people who value installing them on their homes, business, farmland or property.
If you want to know more about how a solar panel is made, read on for more information.
Solar panels are created using silicon wafers, which are made from silicon – a chemical element that is found in abundance on Earth. In fact, it is the second most abundant element on the planet, surpassed only by oxygen. The process of making photovoltaic cells and solar panels starts with silicon.
A solar panel is made up of a number of different parts in addition to the silicon wafer base and the cells that are attached to it. These include a glass cover to protect the cells, a steel frame that helps keep the panel together and provides:
All of these components work together to create a functional solar panel that can effectively convert sunlight into usable electricity. For a comprehensive understanding of Tier 1 solar panels, see our blog “What Are Tier 1 Solar Panels?“
Solar cells are made by melting silicon and adding either gallium or boron to create silicon ingots. Phosphorus is then mixed with the silicon and gallium or boron to give the silicon an electrical charge. This process results in crystalline silicon wafers that are used to create solar cells.
The process of manufacturing silicon wafers involves cutting the silicon into thin sheets as much as possible in order to minimize waste and increase production efficiency. Silicon is a shiny material, and as a result, it has a tendency to reflect sunlight.
This can be a problem in certain applications where it is important to maximise the amount of sunlight that is absorbed by the silicon. To address this issue, an anti-reflective coating is often applied to the surface of the silicon wafer. This coating helps reduce the amount of sunlight lost due to reflection, improving the overall efficiency of the wafer.
Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single, continuous piece of silicon, which is why they are often referred to as “single crystal” solar panels. In contrast, polycrystalline solar panels are created by melting multiple pieces of silicon together to form a large sheet. This sheet is then cut into thin wafers, which are used to create the solar panel.
The use of multiple pieces of silicon to create a polycrystalline panel means that the resulting solar panel is made up of many small crystals, rather than one large crystal-like in a monocrystalline panel.
We now know that silicon is an important component in producing solar panels, and its manufacturing begins by heating the silicon to high temperatures in a furnace. When the silicon is melted, it is poured into a mould and allowed to cool, resulting in the formation of cylindrical ingots. These ingots are then cut into thin sheets, which are used to create the solar panel’s silicon wafers.
After the ingots have cooled and solidified, they are polished to create smooth, flat sides. Once the ingots are smooth and even, they are cut into thin disks known as silicon wafers. These wafers are only a few millimetres thick and are cut as thinly as possible to minimize waste and improve production efficiency. The resulting silicon wafers are then used to create solar panels.
A metallic conductor, such as boron, is added to the silicon wafers in order to provide them with electrical conductivity. The resulting solar cells are unbalanced and need to be layered and soldered together in a grid-like array in order to form a functional solar panel. This process involves layering the solar cells on top of one another and soldering them together in a specific pattern, which allows the panel to conduct electricity effectively.
After the solar cells have been layered and soldered together, a weather-resistant glass cover is placed on top of the panel. This glass helps to protect the solar cells from the elements and ensures that they are able to function effectively over a long period of time.
The solar panel is also coated with an anti-reflective coating during the manufacturing process. This coating helps to encourage the absorption of sunlight rather than reflecting it, which improves the overall efficiency of the panel. To learn more about connecting solar panels, check out our “How To Connect Solar Panels?” blog.
When sunlight hits the solar panel, it stimulates the electrons in the photovoltaic cells that make up the panel to move in order to correct the imbalance created by the incoming light. This movement of electrons generates electricity, which is captured and converted by the solar panel through the use of photovoltaic cells. These cells are made up of conductive grooves that are electrically connected to one another in both series and parallel configurations in order to achieve the necessary voltage for use.
The electricity produced by the solar panel is in the form of direct current, which is not suitable for use in most homes and buildings. As a result, the direct current is usually converted to the alternating current through an inverter before it is used in these settings. This process allows the solar panel to effectively capture and convert sunlight into electricity that can be used to power homes and other buildings.
In this article, we have discussed the complete manufacturing process for solar panels, including the most important component, silicon. However, there are additional steps involved in the production of solar panels that are worth mentioning. For example, the wafers are cleaned to remove any irregularities or surface defects that may have occurred during the cutting process.
There is also a testing phase after the cells have been manufactured, during which defective cells are identified and removed based on their voltage and current output characteristics. We hope that this information has provided you with a more in-depth understanding of the process of how a solar panel is manufactured.
If you’re interested in purchasing or installing solar panels in Tasmania, Solar Panels Tasmania has you covered! Feel free to contact us and get your free quote today.
Fill in the enquiry form below and we will call you. We look forward to helping you on your solar journey.