Aug 6, 2011

What are Solar Panels and How are They Mounted

Solar Panels are a collection of solar cells that convert solar radiation into electricity. Since they use photovoltaic technology, solar panels are often called ‘photovoltaic panels’ as well.

The placement and size, as well as the material, of photovoltaic solar panels determine the amount of current generated. For instance, for a given size, a solar panel located near the equator will harness a lot of sunlight compared to solar panels in the north or south poles. However, the current may be increased if the solar panel’s size is increased, and it is mounted in a way that maximizes the absorption of solar radiation.

There are four ways a photovoltaic solar panel can be mounted:
  • Solar trackers – that track the sun’s movement to maximize absorption
  • Fixed racks – the photovoltaic solar panel remains in one position
  • Mounting at ground level – solar panels are mounted on frames that are attached to structures on the ground
  • Roof-top installations – solar panels are mounted on roof tops
 The choice depends on:
  • The amount of available sunlight
  • Energy requirements of the home or business, and
  • Size of the solar panel.