After the energy crisis of 2022, the word "photovoltaic" is being mentioned more and more. The installation of photovoltaic systems has become the consensus of people towards green and sustainable development. But what exactly is photovoltaic and why can photovoltaic panels generate electricity? Can it really bring me benefits? How much does it cost to invest in PV, and is it worth it? Do I want to buy solar panels like others? I believe that you will make your own choice after reading this PV module purchasing know how manual!
This manual is divided into two parts, this is the second part.
To invest in a photovoltaic system or renewable energy, first we should understand what it is and how it works.
The job of a photovoltaic panel is to collect the energy from the sun and generate electricity. Mainstream photovoltaic panels are made from silicon-based semiconductor materials, and by preparing PN junctions, these materials undergo a "photovoltaic effect" when exposed to sunlight, which generates direct current. That direct current is then converted by a device called an inverter into the kind of alternating current that flows in an electrical outlet. Some of it is used immediately, while the rest is fed back into the grid or stored in a battery, from where the current can be used again at a later time.
There are many manufacturers on the market, who offer different photovoltaic products. Therefore, it is worth knowing which PV panels should be chosen, what are their differences and what are their advantages. Two types of panels are usually mentioned.
The first type is monocrystalline panels, made of single crystal silicon. They offer a free flow of electrons, followed by their high efficiency. They are characterized by their dark blue color, almost black. As for the price, it is usually higher compared to other types of panels.
Polycrystalline Silicon Panels
Polycrystalline photovoltaic panels, as the name suggests, are made of polycrystalline silicon, which gives them an intense blue color. This type of panel is slightly less efficient, followed by a lower price. Many people are keen on this type of panel because they have a high yield in areas with low sunlight, which is an extremely important advantage.
Amorphous Silicon Panels
There is a third type. These are amorphous silicon panels, also known as thin-film panels. Many people do not choose them because of their low efficiency. However, if you want to install a PV system on a property that is exposed to high temperatures, consider this type of panel.
It is worth reminding that balcony PV panels are also available. Many people have installed these thin-film panels on their terraces and fences, which make their balconies both look beautiful and produce a portion of free electricity.
How much does it cost to install a home PV system?
This is one of the most common questions people ask. First of all, the cost of PV power is quoted in kWp (kilowatt installed capacity). Therefore, it depends entirely on the size of the PV installation. In Europe, for example, for a residential house of 160 square meters, the upfront investment for installing a 5kw grid-connected PV system is about 6,000-8,000 euros (including tax price).
The system installation cost depends on: the capacity of the PV system, the needs of the household, the type of panels, the experience of the installation company or the amount of subsidies.
By the way, subsidies for PV panels are something that anyone planning to install a PV system should take into account. It will certainly reduce the total cost of the investment. It is worth considering exactly what conditions need to be met in order to receive the subsidy. You can check with your local administration for the relevant policies.
Where to buy PV panels?