Solar Cells - Advantages of solar cells

renewable energy

Advantages of solar cells - Solar panels (amorphous)

Amorphous silicon is also available in the form of solar panels. The silicon is deposited onto glazed panels. As well as the completely sealed models, various manufacturers are also producing more transparent modules. In contrast to the semi-transparent crystalline silicon modules with openings between the cells, the transparent amorphous silicon modules have fine lines in the silicon that let the light through. In theory, any lighting level can be achieved although, naturally, this reduces the efficiency.

Amorphous silicon is also available in other forms. Manufacturers in the USA and Japan are depositing amorphous cells onto metal foils ­ known as roll-to-roll processes. The commercial applications of amorphous PV systems are increasing, but still have a long way to go. The most advanced product is the amorphous PV metal roofing element and the hard-glazed amorphous PV module.

Technical conditions

The mounting and support construction for a PV system must meet a number of conditions in order to ensure that the equipment functions correctly and to maintain maximum efficiency. There should be sufficient ventilation at the back of the modules as told before. This assumes that there is sufficient (minimum 50 mm) natural ventilation present via a sloping or vertical air cavity. Both ends of the air cavity should be open to the ambient air, and should be protected against pollution and small insects.


 

Is China the future?

China, which is expected to double its demand for energy in the next 15 to 20 years, currently consumes 45% of the world’s fossil fuels. This will mean that an additional 45% of oil, gas, coal, and mineral resources will have to be found. In the 1970’s oil was changing hands at around $10 per barrel. Today, new fracking techniques (getting oil, rather than blood out of a stone) will cost at least $80 per barrel, and this cost will increase as the oil rich reserves are quickly used up.

 

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