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The PV array is a group of PV panels that receive sunlight. The terms array, modules, and panels are all approiate ways to describe solar power systems. PV panels are a solar electric system’s defining component because within the panel is where sunlight is converted to electricity. PV panels consist of a group of cells made of two or more thin layers of silicon. Silicon is a natural element that becomes electrically charged when exposed to sunlight. This chemical reaction creates solar panel electricity or the voltaic effect.
Currently, there are three major types of cells that PV panels can be made of:
Crystalline silicon-based systems are the most efficient. They convert about 15% more sunlight into solar panel electricity than the other cell types.
Mono-Crystalline Silicon Cell
The manufacturing process required to produce mono-crystalline silicon is complicated, resulting in slightly higher costs than other technologies, however the higher cost is made up in the greater amount of efficiency achieved by the individual cells.
PV panels are very durable and long lasting—most carry a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty. They can withstand severe weather, including extreme heat, cold, and hail (up to 1” hail at 50 mph). The ideal placement of a solar array is on an un-shaded south facing roof at a tilt of the locations latitude. Latitude for the North Texas area is approximately 32 degrees. Generally, solar arrays require 100 square feet for each kilo-watt installed. The more solar irradiance or solar intensity and the more panels installed, the greater amount of electricity will be produced.
Below is an example of a group of panels mounted on two poles
PV panels are assigned a rating in watts based on the maximum power they can produce under ideal sun and temperature conditions. Typical modules have a rated power output of around 175 - 230 Watts peak (Wp) each. An average residential system of 3 - 4 kWp may therefore comprise some 18 - 24 modules covering an area of between 300 - 400 square feet.
There are 5 major factors that affect solar panel electricity:
If you would like more information concerning solar panel electricity, call Axium Solar at (972) 633-8680. Axium Solar offers custom designs and installations of PV solar systems in North Texas, and is an approved vendor of the Oncor Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Program.
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