Solar Panel Installation Fairbanks AK
North Pole, AK
North Pole, AK
Solar panels (also called solar modules) are made up of cells. A solar cell is vaguely circular, two to three inches in diameter and organized in rows and columns on a solar panel. For example, a 150-watt solar panel is often four rows by nine columns of solar cells.
Types of Cells
There are several types of solar cells and these are each divided into subcategories. The basic types of solar cells sold on the market are as follows:
Single crystal and polycrystalline cells can each last several generations while thin film is newer technology - less costly but also less durable.
Other New Technologies
Some terms in solar energy may not mean much to you. However, you can ask your installer or supplier about the latest in cell technology improvements. Some newer technologies that show promise in the coming years are as follows:
Solar Panel Mounts | Alternative Energy
Before you mount your photovoltaic system, you will need to balance two factors:
The best sunlight, of course, is facing south, if you are in the northern hemisphere and facing north if you are in the southern hemisphere.
A thornier problem is the mounting of the solar panel or panel array. For a large system, there are basically two places you can mount your solar panel or panel array:
Roof Mounting Tip
One of the problems with earlier generations of solar panel mounting was that there was no consideration for the expansion and contraction of the solar panels. These "big black things" stand in the heat of the sun all day then cool off every night. Consequently, the mounting would shift daily and eventually dig into the roof shingles. Ask your solar installer if he or she is aware of this problem. This is the typical mounting arrangement, and professional installers do account for it, but don't assume that all of them do.
Urban homes and businesses would use roof mounting to support the larger array of solar modules. Roof mounted systems are safe and modest when installed by professionals.
Realistically, most urban areas do not have the space for pole mounted systems. Pole mounts are most useful for small rural systems.
Pole mounts are typicall...
When you are choosing solar panels for your system, there are a number of factors that will go into your decision. These factors are similar to those of other buying decisions you make, and they also are inter-related:
The cost will be determined in part by size and durability of solar panels you purchase.
The size of the panel generally determines the wattage it will put out at maximum. The wattage is also determined by the kind of solar cells used, whether they are single crystal, polycrystalline or thin film. If you'd like, you can learn more about types of solar cells . A 50 watt panel will be about two square feet, while a 190 watt panel will be about eight.
Again, this has a lot to do with the materials. As you would read on our solar cells page, different types of solar panels have different durability. Frames also make a difference in durability of your solar panels. Today, most PV panels are framed in aluminum, which is sturdy and light.
The type of solar module you choose is based on what you will be using it for. For homes and other stationary uses, the type of module will be different than the type that is best suited for portable uses such as boating or camping.
You might also want to look at solar shingles, profiled on our page on building integrated photovoltaics ....