What are 500 watt Solar Panels made of and process of Manufacturing ?

Play Video about solar panels are welded together to hold the aluminum frame together

Answering that question means understanding solar energy history, how solar panels are manufactured, and what the parts of a solar panel are, how solar energy works.

Solar Energy History

Solar power, as an emerging clean energy, has gradually been widely used in various fields; that the history of solar power generation origin, who knows about it?

  1. In 1839, 19-year-old French Becquerel did a physics experiment, and found that the two metal electrodes in the conductive liquid with light When the two metal electrodes in the conductive liquid were illuminated by light, the current would be strengthened, thus discovering the “photovoltaic effect”;
  2. In 1904, Albert Einstein published a paper on the photoelectric effect, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921;
  3. In 1930, Lange first proposed to use the “photovoltaic effect” to make “solar cells”, which is solar energy into electricity
  4. In 1941, Orr discovered the photovoltaic effect on silicon;
  5. In May 1954, the United States Bell Labs Chapin, Fuller and Pearson developed a monocrystalline silicon solar cell with an efficiency of 6%. This was the world’s first practical solar cell. In the same year, Wicker discovered for the first time that gallium arsenide had a photovoltaic effect, and deposited cadmium sulfide film on the glass to make solar cells.

The practical photovoltaic technology of converting solar energy into electricity, was thus born and developed.The silicon cell produced in 1954 had 4% efficiency. As research grew, solar panels’ efficiency continued to increase. It could emerge as the preferred source to run economies.

What are 500watt Solar Panels made of?

Most panels available on the market are made of monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film  silicon. The composition of a 500 watt solar panel is no different from other panels.

The first crucial component required to make solar cells is pure silicon, making up the semiconductors that actually create electricity from solar energy. However, silicon is not pure in its natural state.  Natural beach sand is the main component in making pure silicon. High-purity silicon is produced from quartz sand in an arc furnace at very high temperatures.

Certainly, the materials used to manufacture the cells for solar panels are only one part of the solar panel itself. The solar panel manufacturing process combines six different components to create a complete solar panel. These parts include silicon solar cells, a metal frame, a glass sheet, a standard 12V wire, and a bus wire. 

Silicon solar cells

Silicon solar cells convert the Sun’s light into electricity using the photovoltaic effect. Soldered together in a matrix-like structure between the glass panels, silicon cells interact with the thin glass wafer sheet and create an electric charge. Silicon solar cell manufacturing can be divided into 4 steps:

  1. Silicon purification: Pure silicon is derived from quartz sand in a furnace requiring very high temperatures.
  2. Making silicon ingots: Once silicon is purified, it is then collected into solid rocks. This rock is melted together to form a cylindrical ingot using a steel cylindrical furnace.In the process of melting, Boron is added to the process, giving the silicone positive electrical polarity.
  3. Making Wafers: The cylindrical ingots are cut into thin slices to form wafers, which are done one at a time using a cylindrical saw, and the thickness of the wafer is similar to a sheet of paper. The thin silicon is shiny and reflects light. The manufacturer applies a thin anti-reflective coating that reduces sunlight loss.
  4. Solar cells:Each wafer is treated and metal conductors are added to each surface. The conductors form a grid-like matrix on the wafer surface, They ensure sunlight is converted into electricity.

Most 500-watt solar panels on the market are made up of the following cell sizes: 182mm 132 half cells.

Metal frame

Typically aluminumit helps to fix the solar panel in the desired position and adjust the right angle.

Glass sheet

After the cells are put together, a thin layer of glass (about 6-7 mm) is added to the front of the solar cell in the sunrise area, which protects the silicon solar cells inside. Bifacial solar panels are also very popular today, as they are made of glass on both sides.Read the 《What are bifacial solar panels? How it works, advantages and disadvantages》  to learn more.

Process of 500w Solar Panel Manufacturing

Solar panels are made of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon solar cells soldered together and sealed under an anti-reflective glass cover. The four key steps in making a solar panel are:

  1. Produce the solar cells : Quartz sand purification, Making silicon ingots, Making Wafer, Solar cells.
  2. Solder solar cells together to create a panel : After the phosphorus gives the silicon wafers their electrical charge, metal connectors link each solar cell in a process called soldering. The number of cells soldered together at once depends on how big the solar panel is manufactured. 500watt solar panel generally consists of 132 half cells of 182mm.
  3. Install a backsheet, front glass layer,  frame and junction box: After the cells are put together, a thin layer (about 6-7 mm) of glass is added on the front side, facing the sun. The backsheet is made from highly durable, polymer-based material. This will prevent water, soil, and other materials from entering the panel from the back. Subsequently, the junction box is added, in order to enable connections inside the module.
  4. Testing the Modules: Once the solar module is manufactured, it is tested to ensure that it performs as expected. Typically, using STC (Standard Test Conditions), the panels are placed in a flash tester that simulates “standard” conditions: 1000W/m2 irradiance, 25°C cell temperature, and 1.5g air mass. If it passes, the solar panel is ready for shipment and installation. Our companys production lines all use automated equipment and set strict manufacturing standards. The products produced under the standard have undergone multiple tests and leave the factory with extremely high quality. Because of this, the company’s maintenance rate is at a very low level.

WS505m10-66h is the new model of our company. We are constantly innovating solar photovoltaic products. In the process, we have been considering how to improve the power and reliability of products. This solar panel improves the power output greatly compared with the traditional panel, and the power of this model can reach 21.3%. At the same time, the quality has also been greatly improved: the possibility of lightning streaks and hot spots has been greatly reduced, which can cope with even worse weather.

Future technology trends in solar cells

The current efficiency of PERC cells has reached 23.5%, close to the theoretical efficiency limit of 24.5%, and the industry needs to develop a new generation of cell technology. At present, new cell technologies are blossoming, and TOPcon, HJT, and P-IBC have become strong competitors for the next generation of new technologies.