PHOTOVOLTAIC EQUIPMENT

Photovoltaic panels

There are mainly 3 types of photovoltaic panels: polycrystalline, single-crystal and thin-layer. They are made up of silicon cells, and silicon is of two main types: amorphous and crystalline.

Technical specifications – Sharp single crystal panels – half-cut

SHARP NUJD 540 HC Mono Datesheet

Solarity BG is Sharp’s largest official partner for Bulgaria for high quality photovoltaic panels.

Photovoltaic panels

Monocrystalline panels

Monocrystalline panels are among the most expensive on the market. They can reach a capacity of 380 Wp and this characterizes them as the modules with the highest efficiency of all types offered.

Monocrystalline panels are made of cylindrical cells of crystalline silicon (mono-Si). To optimize productivity and reduce the cost of a cell, four sides are cut from cylindrical blocks to produce silicon wafers, which gives monocrystalline solar panels their distinctive appearance.

A good way to distinguish mono- and polycrystalline solar panels is that polycrystalline solar cells look perfectly rectangular without rounded edges.

Advantages

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Monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency, as they are made of the highest grade silicon. Their level of efficiency is usually 15-20%.

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In addition to providing the highest annual performance, single crystal panels require less space than other types. They produce up to four times the electricity produced by thin-layer (amorphous) panels.

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Monocrystalline solar panels have the longest life. Most manufacturers provide a 25-year warranty on their single crystal solar panels.

Disadvantages

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Monocrystalline solar panels are the most expensive. From a financial point of view, a solar panel that is made of polycrystalline silicon (and in some cases thin-film) may be a better choice for some homeowners.

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If the solar panel is partially shaded or covered with debris or snow, the entire circuit may stop working. Consider installing micro-inverters instead of central string inverters if you think shading may be a problem. Micro-inverters ensure that shading will not affect the entire string, but only one of the solar panels.

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The Czochralski process, in which cylindrical blocks are obtained, is used to obtain monocrystalline silicon. When cutting the four ends to produce silicon wafers, some of the original silicon ends up as waste.

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Monocrystalline solar panels tend to be more efficient in warm weather. As the temperature rises, the efficiency decreases, but not as much as with polycrystalline panels.

Photovoltaic panels

Polycrystalline panels

Polycrystalline panels are the most common in the construction of photovoltaic systems.

The first solar panels based on polycrystalline silicon, also known as polysilicon (p-Si) and multi-crystalline silicon (MC-Si), were introduced in 1981. Unlike monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar panels raw silicon is melted and poured into a square shape, which is cooled and cut into perfect squares

Advantages

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The process of making polycrystalline silicon is simpler and requires less cost. The amount of silicon waste is less than single crystal panels.

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Polycrystalline solar panels consist of cells that are not perfectly aligned and directed in one direction, so when light is scattered rather than directed (in cloudy weather), their cells manage to absorb more light than monocrystalline solar panels.

Disadvantages

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The efficiency of polycrystalline panels is usually 13-16%. Due to the lower purity of silicon, polycrystalline solar panels are not as efficient as monocrystalline solar panels.

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Polycrystalline solar panels tend to have slightly lower thermal tolerances than single-crystal solar panels. This technically means that at higher temperatures they produce less than single crystal solar panels. The heat can affect the functioning of solar panels and shorten their lifespan.

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They require more space for the same amount of energy produced compared to a solar panel made of single crystal silicon. However, this does not mean that every single crystal panel works better than those based on polycrystalline silicon.

Photovoltaic panels

Thin-layer (amorphous) panels

Thin-film modules have a completely different production technology. Here silicon is applied very thinly and tightly on a surface (most often glass). Their production is much easier, which is why they are the cheapest modules on the market. But their efficiency is almost 2 times lower. They are increasingly used in facade installations due to the fact that they cope better with suboptimal exposure to sunlight.

Advantages

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The main advantage of these photovoltaic cells, in addition to the low cost, is the ability of photovoltaics with amorphous silicon to work well in cloudy weather (diffused light). In general, as the intensity of sunshine decreases, the electricity generated by photovoltaics decreases proportionally. For example, in the case of photovoltaic cells with crystalline silicon, the efficiency of the element decreases sharply with a decrease in the intensity of the incident radiant flux. This is not true of amorphous silicon.

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Mass production is easy, which makes them cheaper than crystal PV panels. Their homogeneous color makes them aesthetic.

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Mass production is easy, which makes them cheaper than crystal PV panels. Their homogeneous color makes them aesthetic.

Disadvantages

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Due to their lower performance, they take up more space for 1kW of installed power, making them unsuitable for places where space is limited.

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