Have you ever wondered what’s inside of a solar panel? If you were to take it apart what would there be? Well to answer those questions we have to look at what solar panels are made out of. The main components of a solar panel are silicon, metal, and glass.
Silicon is used to make the most important part of the solar panel, the solar cells. Solar cells are the parts of the panels that make energy from the sun.
Sand is converted into crystallized silicone. The crystalline silicon is melted and mixed with gallium or boron to form what’s called silicon ingot. The silicon ingot is then sliced into thin sheets and an anti-reflective coating is applied. The coating is applied to capture the sunlight instead of reflecting it away from the panels.
Usually, 60 or 70 of the solar cells are weaved together with metal connectors. This then creates a matrix-like grid which eventually forms one solar panel. Different types of solar panels are made depending on how the solar cells are formed together.
A backsheet is installed to the underside of the solar cells for protection from water and soil. The backsheet is made from ultra-durable plastic material.
After the solar cells are put together, a strong weatherproof glass is installed. It is placed on top of the solar cells to filter the sunshine into the solar cells and protect the top from severe weather conditions.
Lastly a metal frame is connected around the panel with silicon to fuse and seal all of the layers together. The metal frame not only provides protection against impact and weather, it also allows the panel to be mounted in various ways.
So, if you were to take a panel apart there would be mostly glass and a thin layer of silicon. Check in on the website and YouTube for a video taking apart a solar panel.