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The Difference Between Solar Cells and Solar Panels

February 27, 2019
All, Solar News

The Difference Between Solar Cells and Solar Panels

Producing electricity for your home or business is a function of solar cells and solar panels working together. The solar cells are actually contained within the solar panels with each part playing a specific role within the larger system which is called a photovoltaic system. The entire solar energy system works quietly and efficiently to produce electricity.

Integral parts of a solar energy system, solar cells and solar panels each play distinct parts with solar cells engineered to convert sunlight to electricity and solar panels combing and directing that electricity. These photovoltaic systems start with solar cells.

How Solar Systems Work

Beginning with individual solar cells arranged to allow for the capture and conversion of sunlight into electricity. Once captured by the solar panels, the electrical output of each solar cell is sent to an inverter that converts the DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current) which is the current used in your home or business. Once converted the electricity is sent through a meter into your home or business. 

Specific Role of Solar Cells

Solar cells produce electricity through multiple layers within the solar cells. There are two semiconductors in the center of the cell which work together to force electrons to travel the cell in a specific direction creating electrical current. To capture this energy the conductors force the current out of the cell into an electrical load.

Continuing their journey the electrons re-enter the cell, connect with the positive layer and continue. The sole function of the solar cell is to ensure this continuous process flows unimpeded producing as much electricity as possible.

Specific Role of Solar Panels

Individual solar cells produce limited amounts of energy. Solar panels contain multiple solar cells connected in series of parallel circuits which create a solar module. Solar modules seal the solar cells and wiring in a protective case to guard them against weather conditions. The modules are then wired together into a solar panel.

The solar panel amplifies, protects and directs the energy coming from the individual modules of solar cells. A solar panel can consist of a single module or multiple modules depending on the coverage required.

Since modules can be singular or multiple units, the meaning of modules and panels is sometimes used interchangeably which can be confusing. Installers can clarify any confusion. Solar panels are wired and ready for installation on the rooftop of your choice. You can rely on SunLynk to help you find a well-qualified installer in your area.

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