Your Cart

Understanding the Composition of Solar Panels

Understanding the Composition of Solar Panels

Apr 30, 2024

Blog Team

Did you know that silicon is doped with phosphorus and boron, and is used to make solar panels? If you want to understand what constitutes a solar panel then we are here to provide you with the right information.

What are solar panels made of?

Solar panels are made from silicon wafers, manufactured through an intensive energy-driven process. In this process, natural beach sand is converted to high-grade silicon. Later, it is sliced to form interconnected wafers of micrometric thickness. Although silicon is the most abundant resource in the world, extracting it, and forming it into cells to convert sunlight into electricity requires a heavy manufacturing process.

Materials used to manufacture solar panels

Apart from silicon, many other materials are used for the manufacture of solar panels. The materials used to cover the cells include protective sheets of glass, aluminium, and thermoplastic polymer.

The materials involved in the production of solar panels include:

  • Semiconductive materials: Silicon, Selenium, Tellurium, Gallium Arsenide, and Indium.
  • Conductive materials: Boron, Phosphorus
  • Cell materials: Thermoplastic Polymer Layers, Anti Reflective Glass Layer, and Aluminum Frame for the union of all materials.

The structure of solar panels

Every component that makes up a solar panel has a specific function:

  • Frame: Joins all pieces and ensures the integrity of the structure of the solar panel. Furthermore, the frame allows its insertion in the mounting structures (racking) to group the modules into an array. 
  • Glass: An anti-reflective tempered glass with >90% light transmission qualities to shield the photovoltaic panel from the action of atmospheric agents.
  • Encapsulated sheets: Composed of glass polymerized with acrylics and resins, the encapsulated sheets are meant to protect the solar cells and their contacts. 
  • Photovoltaic (solar) cells: Photovoltaic (PV) cells are interconnected in rows and columns. They are segmented into groups of 60, 72, or 96 based on the target power to be achieved and the size of the solar panels. 
  • Back sheet: The back sheet helps protect the back of the panel against humidity and other atmospheric agents. The back sheet is white to enhance reflection and is made from Ethyl-Vinyl-Acetylene (EVA), Tedlar, or acrylic.
  • Junction Box: The junction box is placed where the terminal output of the electrical circuit is installed. It is waterproof and has bypass diodes to protect the solar cells from hot spots.

When you understand what solar panels are made of, it is easy to comprehend how they work. Go through our solar panel products to know more about their different purposes.