Solar Panels Overview
Types of Solar Panels:
There are many different types of panels available that all serve a different purpose and in many cases, work in different climates. Here is a brief overview of each of the different types of Solar panels. Below you can find more detailed information on Each Solar Panel and other helpful links to more information, or details on where to purchase the solar panels to fit your project.
Solar Electric PV Panels
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels or Modules consist of solar cells (semiconductor materials). The basic PV or solar cell typically produces only a small amount of power. To produce more power, solar cells (about 40) can be interconnected to form panels or modules. PV modules range in output from 10 to 300 watts. If more power is needed, several modules can be installed on a building or at ground-level in a rack to form a PV array. About 10–20 PV arrays can provide enough power for a household. Because of their modularity, PV systems can be designed to meet any electrical requirement, no matter how large or how small. You also can connect them to an electric distribution system (grid-connected), or they can stand alone (off-grid).
Solar Water Heating Panels: Integral Collector-Storage
Best choice for warm climates. Also known as ICS or batch systems, they feature one or more black tanks or tubes in an insulated, glazed box. Cold water first passes through the solar collector, which preheats the water. The water then continues on to the conventional backup water heater, providing a reliable source of hot water. They should be installed only in mild-freeze climates because the outdoor pipes could freeze in severe, cold weather.
Solar Water Heating Panels: Flat-Plate Collector
Recommended for moderate climates. Glazed flat-plate collectors are insulated, weatherproofed boxes that contain a dark absorber plate under one or more glass or plastic (polymer) covers.
Solar Water Heating Panels: Evacuated-Tube Solar Collectors
Recommended for cold climates. They feature parallel rows of transparent glass tubes. Each tube contains a glass outer tube and metal absorber tube attached to a fin. The fin's coating absorbs solar energy but inhibits radiative heat loss. These collectors are used more frequently for commercial applications, and also for solar space heating applications.
Solar Pool Heating Panels: Unglazed Collectors
If you are planning on using your pool during above-freezing temperatures, the unglazed collectors are recommended. Unglazed solar panels don't include a glass covering (glazing), they are generally made of heavy-duty rubber or plastic treated with an ultraviolet (UV) light inhibitor to extend the life of the panels. Because of their inexpensive parts and simple design, unglazed collectors are usually less expensive than glazed collectors. These unglazed systems can even work for indoor pools in cold climates if the system is designed to drain back to the pool when not in use. Even if you have to shut the system down during cold weather, unglazed collectors may be more cost effective than installing a more expensive glazed collector system.
Solar Pool Heating Panels: Glazed Collectors.
For all climates. Glazed Collector systems are generally made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate with an iron-tempered glass covering, which increases their cost. In colder weather, glazed collector systems—with heat exchangers and transfer fluids—capture solar heat more efficiently than unglazed systems. Therefore, they can be used year-round in many climates. Glazed collectors are also used to heat domestic hot water year-round.
Both glazed and unglazed collector systems should include freeze protection if they'll be used in colder conditions.
Solar Space Heating Panels: Air Collectors
A glazed recirculation solar air collector designed for space heating and air recirculation applications. Air is drawn from inside the room through the bottom of the collector and blown back into the room through a duct in the top. A collector can heat an area of the home or room up to 1000 ft2 or 93 m2 when the sun is shining. Multiple collectors can be connected together to heat larger areas or rooms. An external digital control lets you preset the temperature for the collector to start heating. An integrated photovoltaic panel with about 14 watts of power drives a fan for best performance. The unit is self-powered. No electrical hook-up required.
This is a supplemental heating system. It is not designed to replace your traditional furnace or primary heating system. However, it continuously heats a cold room when the sun is shinning reducing the usage of your conventional heating system and reducing your heating bills.
Solar Radiant Heating Panels: Evacuated-Tube Collectors
They feature parallel rows of transparent glass tubes. Each tube contains a glass outer tube and metal absorber tube attached to a fin. The fin's coating absorbs solar energy but inhibits radiative heat loss. These collectors are also commonly used for commercial water heating applications.
» Solar Electric (PV) Panels
» Solar Water Heater Panels ICS
» Solar Water Heater Flat Plate Panels
» Solar Water and Space Heating Panels - Evacuated Tube Type
» Solar Pool Heating Panels - Unglazed Collectors
» Solar Pool Heating Panels- Glazed Collectors
» Solar Air Heating and Re-circulation Panels
» Solar Radiant Heating Panels- Evacuated Tube Type System