What is a solar panel?

Solar energy gets most of its power from the sun. Photovoltaic panels, which are also called solar panels, are used to turn the energy particles in the sun’s light into electricity that can be used to power electrical loads. “photons” is another name for solar cells.

Solar panels can be used for many different things, such as remote power systems for cabins, equipment for telecommunications and remote sensing, and, of course, residential and commercial solar electric systems that produce energy.

On this page, we will talk about the history of solar panels, how they work, and what they can do for us. We’re going to talk about how solar panels work, including how they’re made, how they make electricity, and where you can get them.

A Short History of Solar Panels

Solar energy has been studied and made better for more than a hundred years. In the beginning, solar energy was mostly used to make steam, which was then used to run different kinds of machines. But it wasn’t until Edmond Becquerel found something called the “photovoltaic effect” that it became practical to turn sunlight into solar energy. Because of what Becquerel found, Charles Fritts was inspired to make the first real solar cell in 1893.

Fritts did this by putting a thin layer of gold on selenium sheets and then heating the compound that was made. And from these humble beginnings, the device we now call a solar panel would eventually come into being. Russel Ohl, an American inventor who worked at Bell Laboratories at the time, got a patent for the first silicon solar cell in 1941. The same company that bought Ohl’s idea made the first solar panel in 1954.

When they were first used widely, solar panels were used to make spacecraft. In the 1970s, most people probably saw a solar panel for the first time when it came built into their brand-new calculator.

How do solar panels make electricity?

Solar panels are things that collect sunlight, which is a clean source of energy that can be used over and over again, and turn it into electricity. This power can then be used to run other electrical appliances. Solar panels are made up of many solar cells. Each solar cell is made up of many layers of silicon, phosphorous (which gives the panel its negative charge), and boron (which provides the positive charge).

In order for solar panels to work, they have to take in photons and turn them into an electric current. When photons hit the surface of the solar panel, they create energy. This energy pushes electrons out of their atomic orbits and into the electric field that the solar cells create. The solar cells then pull these free electrons into a flow of electricity. The whole process is called the Photovoltaic Effect. Most homes have more than enough space on their roofs to install the required number of solar panels.

This means that the home can generate enough solar electricity to meet all of its electrical needs. The extra electricity that is made is sent to the main power system, where it is used to make up for the increased need for electricity in the evening.

Solar Use During the Day

During the day, a home can use the electricity made by a solar array that is connected to the grid. This happens when the setup is well-balanced and optimised. Owners of solar generators can take part in “net metering” programmes, which let them get money back if their systems make more electricity than they need in their homes. Solar systems that don’t need to be connected to the grid usually need parts like a battery bank, a charge controller, and an inverter.

Direct current (DC) power from the solar array is sent to the battery bank by the charge controller. The power is then taken from the bank of batteries and sent to the inverter. The inverter changes the direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC), which can power devices that don’t need DC. With the help of an inverter, solar panel arrays can be sized to meet even the strictest electrical load capacity requirements.

Alternating current can be used to power loads in residential or commercial buildings, recreational vehicles and boats, remote cabins, cottages, or homes, remote traffic controls, telecommunications equipment, oil and gas flow monitoring, RTU, SCADA, and a lot more. AC can also be used to power boats and off-road vehicles.

What are ALMM solar modules?

The Approved List of Types and Manufacturers, or ALMM for short, is a list of solar photovoltaic (PV) module models and manufacturers that have been granted approval by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Only the solar photovoltaic models and module manufacturers that are on the approved list can be utilised for solar projects in India, as stated in the ALMM directive.

These include initiatives run by the government, projects that get assistance from the government, projects that are run by the government, projects under government plans and programmes, and open access and net-metering projects. 2 In plainer language, this means that the list is applicable to government-tendered utility-scale solar projects (for instance, SECI), rooftop solar (net-metering), the corporate PPA market, as well as government programmes (example, KUSUM).

ALMM Solar modules producers located either in the United States or elsewhere in the world may submit their goods for inclusion in the ALMM. The most important reason for compiling such a list was to make certain that solar panels are of high quality and that their manufacturers can be relied upon. There are no overseas manufacturers that are currently included on the list.

Manufacturers need a product and performance certificate from the Bureau of Indian Standards in order to be considered for enlistment (BIS). This registration on the ALMM list will be active for a period of two years. While the BIS is responsible for ensuring that the quality of the product is certified, the ALMM is responsible for certifying the process, the manufacturer, and the production facility.

ALMM consists of two lists:

  • List-I (Solar PV models and manufacturers)
  • List-II (Solar PV cells and manufacturers)

Under the direction of the ALMM, the MNRE has been doing routine updates on List I. As of the most recent order, which was issued on March 4, 2022, there have been 46 domestic module manufacturers included, and their combined capacity is 11,497 MW. There is no timetable for the publishing of List II, despite the fact that the administration intends to publish it.