Solar 101: a beginner’s guide to understanding solar panels

Solar panels have become a prominent and environmentally friendly source of energy, harnessing the power of the sun to generate electricity. If you’re new to the world of solar energy, you might have several questions about how solar panels work, their benefits, and their different types. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of solar panels and provide answers to some commonly asked questions.


How do solar panels work?

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic panels, work by converting sunlight into electricity through a process called the photovoltaic effect. This effect involves the interaction of photons (particles of light) with semiconductor materials, like silicon, within the solar panels.

When photons hit the solar cells, they dislodge electrons from their atoms, generating an electric current. This direct current (DC) is then converted into alternating current (AC) through an inverter, making it suitable for powering homes and businesses. Below, various technologies and panels are listed.

Solar panels at ELAT Solar

There are several types of solar panels available at ELAT Solar, each with its own characteristics and advantages. If you want to learn more about the panels and their technologies, click on the titles. They will take you to the right webpage.

Full black glass glass panel

This is a true masterpiece of craftsmanship. Its sleek and minimalist design draws attention, yet there’s more to it than meets the eye. Through the implementation of advanced glass glass technology, our ELAT-FB-GG-430 solar panel emerges as a paragon of durability.

The full black glass glass panel uses TOPCon technology. TOPCon uses a thin layer of insulating material (a tunneling oxide layer) between the metal contact and the solar cell. TOPCon surpasses conventional methods. Traditional solar cells rely on metal contacts to capture generated electricity, yet this approach obstructs incoming light, diminishing overall efficiency. TOPCon technology circumvents this limitation, maximizing light absorption and significantly enhancing the solar cell’s performance.

The dual layers of glass employed in its construction ensure unparalleled protection against the harshest weather conditions and the relentless assault of UV radiation. This fortified defense contributes to an exceptional energy output over the panel’s extended lifespan. Sporting an impressive module efficiency rating of 22.02%, this solar panel guarantees a performance that is truly second to none.

Full black glass foil panel

A solar panel designed with the everyday consumer in mind. This panel boasts a full-black design. Its sleek and contemporary aesthetic makes it a versatile addition to virtually any rooftop.

The remarkable performance of this panel is attributed to the state-of-the-art TOPCon technology it incorporates. With a formidable power output of 430 Pmax/W, this product’s performance stands out as nearly unrivaled. If you’re seeking a solar solution that combines aesthetic appeal and top-tier functionality, look no further than the ELAT-FB-SG-430.

A glass foil panel is made of a glass layer combined with a laminated backsheet (a foil). When photons (particles of light) from the sun hit the semiconducting material, electrons are activated and an electric current is created. This current is conducted out through electrical contacts at the edges of the panel and can be used as electrical energy. Glass foil panels are cheaper to purchase, but are slightly less efficient and durable than glass glass panels.

Black frame glass foil panel

This is a bigger panel than the last one, showcasing unparalleled overall efficiency. It is mostly used for larger projects, and less for residential use. This module achieves an apex module efficiency of 22.24%, and has an impressive maximum power output of 480 Pmax/W, all attributed to the exceptional TOPCon technology it integrates. The panel’s refined design exudes a contemporary aesthetic that resonates with the discerning general public’s preferences. Like the full black glass foil panel, this panel is made of a glass layer combined with a foil.

How many solar panels do you need per building?

The number of solar panels needed for a building depends on several factors, including your energy consumption, available roof space, and the efficiency of the panels. To estimate the number of panels you need, calculate your average energy usage and consider the solar irradiance in your area. If you struggle with this, contact a solar installer for personal advice.

Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

Yes, solar panels can still generate electricity on cloudy days, although their efficiency is reduced compared to sunny days. While direct sunlight produces the most energy, even diffused sunlight on cloudy days can produce a certain amount of power. Advances in technology have also improved the efficiency of solar panels in low-light conditions, making them a reliable source of energy regardless of weather patterns.

How long do solar panels last?

Solar panels are a long-term investment, and their lifespan can vary depending on factors such as quality, maintenance, and environmental conditions. Regular maintenance and proper care can help extend the life of your solar panels.

On average, good quality solar panels can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years. But ELAT Solar offers such high quality that the warranty extends up to 38 years. We are sure that our durable, game changing solutions will maintain their efficiency throughout the years.

The future of solar energy: Perovskite solar cells

Perovskite solar cells are revolutionizing the future of solar technology. These cells, with a unique crystal structure, offer unprecedented levels of efficiency and hold the promise of cost-effective production. The remarkable properties of perovskite materials enable these solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity with great efficiency, making them a compelling solution for sustainable energy generation. Researchers and experts in the field are continually exploring ways to enhance the stability and scalability of perovskite solar cells, paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable energy future. Read more about Perovskite solar cells in this blog.

So are solar panels worth using?

Absolutely. Solar panels offer numerous benefits, both for individuals and the environment. They help reduce electricity bills by generating your own clean energy, which means you rely less on traditional fossil fuels. Additionally, solar panels contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting a more sustainable future. Many governments also offer incentives, tax credits, and rebates to encourage the adoption of solar energy, making it a financially viable choice for homeowners and businesses.

In conclusion

Understanding solar panels is a key step towards harnessing clean and sustainable energy for your home or business. With their ability to convert sunlight into electricity, longevity, and positive impact on both the environment and your finances, solar panels are an excellent investment.

Are you ready to learn more about our high quality solar panels?

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Dare to be different with ELAT Solar at Intersolar

19 – 21 june mark the dates when ELAT Solar showcases how we’re redefining the solar landscape at Intersolar München

We’re excited to meet you and demonstrate how being different is the key to unlocking a brighter, greener future.