which type of solar panel

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by nahnotme, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. nahnotme

    nahnotme Read Only Funster

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    Monochristaline, polychristaline or amourphous...which is best ??
    I cant seem to get an answer on what the difference is and why.
    People just seem to reccomend which ever type they want to sell ????
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    its all down to the type of crystal and the way its cut and the substrate its mounted on.

    amourphous......not waterproof and normally free standing.

    polychristaline......waterproof and normally mounted or free standing and the most efficient of the three.

    Monochristaline....no experience but not very efficient.

    i ordered an amourphous panel from maplin....£60 .....80w
    then i googled what id ordered...:Doh:

    lucky they where out of stock so cancelled and bought a 120w poly off ebey....£400.

    roof mounted and works a treat. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  3. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    Types of solar panel

    There are three main types of solar panel in commercial production, all with some advantages and disadvantages. All three are based on silicon semiconductors - the difference is the form that the silicon is in. Panels based on other chemistries are under development. Cadmium telluride and copper indium diselenide panels may well appear in production soon, and there is also research being carried out on using the photosynthesis effect that plants use to convert sunlight to useful forms of energy. However, you are unlikely to come across technologies other than silicon for the time being, so we will just consider silicon on this page..

    Monocrystalline solar cells are made from thin wafers of silicon, sliced from large crystals that have been grown under carefully controlled conditions. The cells are typically a few inches across, and a number of cells are laid out in a grid to create a panel . Relative to the other types they have a high efficiency, meaning you will get more electricity from a given area of panel - useful if you only have a limited area for mounting your panels, or want to keep the installation small for aesthetic reasons. However, growing large crystals of silicon is a difficult and very energy-intensive process, and so the production costs of this type of panel have historically been very high. Production methods have improved though, and prices have fallen a great deal over the years, partly driven by competition as other types of panel have been produced.
    It is rather cheaper to produce silicon wafers in polycrystalline form, as the conditions can be less tightly controlled. In this form a number of interlocking silicon crystals grow together. Panels based on these cells are cheaper per unit area than monocrystalline panels - but they are also less efficient, and in terms of pounds-per-watt there is not a great deal of difference.
    The newest type of panel is based on amorphous silicon. Here the silicon atoms are not ordered in a crystal lattice at all. The production methods are quite different - instead of growing crystals, the silicon is deposited in a very thin layer on some kind of backing substrate. Sometimes several layers of silicon doped in slightly different ways to respond to different wavelengths of light are laid on top of one another to improve the efficiency. The production methods are complex, but less energy intensive than crystalline panels, and prices should come down as panels are mass produced using this process.
    One advantage of the very thin layers used is that the panels can be made flexible. Types are available that can be curved to the bend in a roof for example, or even attached to a flexible backing sheet so that they can be rolled up and put away when they are not needed! The disadvantage of amorphous panels is that they are not as efficient per unit area as monocrystalline panels - typically you will need nearly double the area for the same power output. Having said that, for a given power rating they do perform better at low light levels than crystalline panels - which is worth having on a dismal winters day. At least one manufacturer now produces a hybrid panel, where a layer of amorphous silicon is deposited on top of single crystal wafers. This gives some of the advantages (high power, but still efficient at low light levels) - and some of the disadvantages (not flexible and relatively high price) of the different panels.
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Oooops.....

    looks like i got the poly and mono the wrong way round but I know what i was trying to say..:Doh:
     
  5. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    1st class info Dane, now where can I get 120W panels for under £100 hee hee
     
  6. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    Dunno Roger but when you find them let me know and I will get a couple.:Rofl1:
     
  7. C.L.S

    C.L.S Trader - Service & Repairs

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    I have just listed a new 80w panel in the classifieds if anyone needs one, will be at Newark

    Mark
     
  8. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    So will I. What stand will you be on?
     
  9. C.L.S

    C.L.S Trader - Service & Repairs

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    I will be there with Motorhomefun :BigGrin: No stand :Wink:

    Mark
     
  10. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    Hope to see you there
     
  11. paulharrison

    paulharrison Read Only Funster

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    Hi Wynnie l fitted the biggest and cheapest one l could find to fit the space l had on the roof and it works a treat last summer never needed any hook up for the weekends and hardly needed the geni, you fitting it yourself.
    Paul
     
  12. nahnotme

    nahnotme Read Only Funster

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    I decided to bite the bullet and get a big un, so i'm booked in with leisuretec in clitheroe for a 130 watt one fitted for £650 tommorow, just need to change all me light bulbs to L.E.D now and get a 12 volt telly !!
     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    That's not a bad price, does that include labour and a charge controller ?
     
  14. paulharrison

    paulharrison Read Only Funster

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    l got a big inverter and had it fitted in the ring main with a relay so the existing 240v tv,s work, why do you need to change the 12v light bulbs there having you on. you will need extra batteries to store the power.
    Paul
     
  15. nahnotme

    nahnotme Read Only Funster

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    yeah thats all included charger, fittings, labour the lot.
     
  16. nahnotme

    nahnotme Read Only Funster

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    I have me telly on now via an inverter but even after having two more leisure batteries fitted to make four it still screams at me, probably cos I have the blown air heating and laptop on too much. I live in my winnebago fulltime and wild camp a lot see.
    Im gonna see how I get on with this new solar panel and if me batteries still keep dying I'll change me bulbs and TV.
     
  17. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    you don't need to change to LED bulbs but you save an awful amount of power if you do. If relying on battery power every amp/hr counts.
     
  18. sinbad1

    sinbad1 Deleted User


    There is some interesting reading about solar pannels

    click here
     
  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    It's interesting in the way it exposes The American Way. No hint of reduce the load just keep piling on the energy production until it matches their load.

    "I really need a bigger inverter".
     
  20. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    You may also like to consider a wind generator, far superior especially in the winter.
     
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