Solar Module Vs Solar Panel: What’s the Difference?


Do not underestimate the value of a single entity because without them there is a no bigger picture. Yes, solar cells, solar panels, and solar modules are all dependent on each other because, without the first one, there is no existence of the second one either.

While working with green energy we come across numerous people; out of them, some have the least while others have accurate knowledge of the same. Recently someone asked me is solar module vs solar panel different from each other? Practically both are successors and predecessors of each other, but the concept can be confusing for some. So, today let us learn more about this along with the possible differences in solar arrays Vs solar panels.

What is Solar Panel Introduction?

Solar panels or photovoltaic panels are silicon-made devices that absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. The process is also included in what is solar panel introduction. Mainly for solar panels introduction, it is mentioned that converts photons from sunlight into electricity known as the photovoltaic effect. Two thin layers of semiconducting material are encased between glass sheets, or polymer resin make up panels.

What is Solar Module Vs Solar Panel?

JAN23solar module vs solar panel
Image by Hrant Khachatryan on Unsplash+

Solar modules and solar panels are both dependent on solar energy for their functioning, however, there are many differences between them. Let’s see the major differences between solar module vs solar panel.

1. Form

Solar modules comprise photovoltaic cell circuits sealed in an environmentally protective laminate. These are the fundamental building blocks of solar photovoltaic systems. Photovoltaic cells connected in series or parallel circuits to produce higher voltages, power levels, and currents form a solar panel.

2. Number

Solar modules contain a number of solar panels wired and assembled together. Solar panels include numerous solar cells.

Also Read: BIPV vs BAPV

What is Solar Module Type?

Decided to purchase solar panels but cannot find the answer to what is solar module type suits your requirements. Here is the list of types of solar module options that are available to choose from.

1. Monocrystalline Solar Modules

It is made from monocrystalline solar cells made from single silicon coated with silicon nitride. Monocrystalline solar cells have a pyramid pattern that offers a larger surface area for collecting more sun rays. Electricity produced is collected through metal conductors printed into cells. It has reduced reflection, thus increasing absorption. These modules are most efficient and highly resistant to heat and have a lifespan of 25–30 years.

2. Polycrystalline Solar Modules

Single photovoltaic solar cells used in making polycrystalline solar modules are made from several silicon crystals in a signal. Over 50% of worldwide module production comprises polycrystalline solar modules. Silicon crystals in each solar cell function as a semiconductor device that converts sunlight by imparting energy to electrons to flow. This vibration generates electricity.

It is the most consolidated and tested photovoltaic technology with better efficiency on cloudy days in comparison to monocrystalline modules. These modules are slightly less expensive and have less overall efficiency in comparison to monocrystalline modules. Their average lifespan is from 20 to 25 years.

3. Thin Film Solar Modules

These panels are made to cater to fewer power requirements and are lightweight and easily portable. Cells forming thin film solar modules are made from amorphous silicon at 12.5% and are more flexible in comparison to other solar modules. The maximum efficiency achieved in thin film technology is around 20.3%. Are you noting down solar module vs solar panel basics?

Also See: What are 4 Types of Solar Panel?

What is Solar Cell?

JAN23solar module vs solar panel
Image by Getty Images on Unsplash+

An energy-convenient device that uses the photovoltaic effect for converting sunlight into electricity is a solar cell, also known as the photovoltaic cell (PV cell). The term solar cell refers to capturing sunlight whereas PV cell refers to an unspecified light source. The first practical solar cell was prepared using Selenium in 1954, and it had 1% efficiency. Nowadays, 25% efficient solar cells are available and are produced from semiconductors like Gallium and Silicon plus coated with silicon monoxide (SiO) for minimizing reflective losses from the surface.

Also See: How Solar Panels Work Step By Step

What is a Solar Panel?

A solar cell panel is made from multiple solar cells wired together in series, parallel, or mixed wiring. Panels are capable of producing strong currents under high potential differences. Solar panels are also used in space stations and artificial satellites. In remote and isolated places, solar panels are useful as they no longer have to depend on utility providers for light supply.

What is Solar Cell Vs Solar Panel?

These points will help you understand the difference between solar cell vs solar panel.

1. Term

The primary difference between solar cell vs solar panel is that solar cells are a narrow term because they are a single device. The solar panel is a wider term as a solar cell is a part of the solar panel and a combination of several solar cells.

2. Energy

Solar cells directly intake solar energy from sunlight and convert it into electricity. On the other hand, solar panels collect the output current from all the solar cells and send it to inverters. Where the further conversion from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) takes place. This current is then usable by household appliances connected to inverters.

Also See: Why Do Solar Panels Degrade?

What is a Solar Array?

A collection of solar panels connected to generate electricity and spread over a large area is known as a solar array. A combination of solar arrays with one or more solar converters along with a battery makes a fully functional solar power system. After solar module vs solar panel let us understand more about solar arrays.

Home Solar Array

The system installed on the house roof to power the appliances at home is known as a home solar array. Most arrays are placed south-facing to receive maximum sunlight and generate enough energy during the day. The number of panels in a home solar array depends on the energy requirements of the household as well as other external factors like geographical conditions and the intensity of the sun. Solar arrays can also be mounted on other structures other than roofs and such structures include solar canopies, solar pergolas, solar gazebos, and solar patios.

Also See: 5 Rooftop Solar Panels Benefits

What are Types of Solar Arrays?

Different types of photovoltaic panels serve different purposes; therefore, one suitable for one purpose may not effectively serve the other purpose and provide an adequate amount of energy. Carport, ground-mounted, and roof-mounted are types of solar arrays.

1. Carports: Overhead canopy specially designed to protect parking places is known as a solar carport. These are set at an optimum angle to receive maximum sunlight. Solar panel carports are considered better than ground-mounted solar arrays.

2. Ground mounted: Though not preferred as much as carports, still these solar arrays mounted to the ground are quite popular. They provide the highest energy per kilowatt. Ground-mounted solar arrays are easy to set at any angle and direction for maximum sunlight exposure. They can be installed in places with tree shades or near a power pole structure. Also, it is easy to maintain them.

3. Rooftop mounted: These are the most commonly used solar arrays, including a solar rack that holds multiple photovoltaic panels directly on the roof. Metal, rubber, shingle sloped, or flat roofs can easily attach such panels. This technique allows attaching roofs in areas where solar panel installation is near to impossible. With low installment costs, these are also less bulky and also protect the roofs from certain damage.

Also Read: 6 Best Roof Material For Solar Panels

What is Solar Arrays Vs Solar Panel?

Solar cells make up solar panels that are further joined together to make solar arrays. It is easy to customize solar arrays as per the amount of energy required, but solar panels are standard units.

  • Solar arrays are more expensive than solar panels.
  • Solar arrays are more flexible in terms of design and performance. But solar panels are not so flexible.

Well, today you learned about solar module vs solar panel basics as well as types and functioning. What is solar module? The answer to this is simple: a collection of solar cells laminated in an environmentally protective layer. It also serves the same purpose of generating electricity from solar energy.

Recommended: How to Evaluate Solar Panels with 5 Key Parameters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *