Amorphous Solar Panels
- Amorphous silicon (a-Si or a-Si:H) solar cells belong to the category of silicon thin-film, where one or several layers of photovoltaic material are deposited onto a substrate.
- Some types of thin-film solar cells have a huge potential.
- These technologies are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years as they mature.
- In 2011, Amorphous silicon solar cells represented about 3% of market.
- The silicon material is not structured or crystallized on a molecular level, as many other types of silicon-based solar cells are.
- Most pocket calculators are powered by thin film solar cell made out of amorphous silicon. For a long time, the low power output of amorphous silicon solar cells limited their use to small applications only.
- This problem is partially solved by "stacking" several amorphous solar cells on top of each other, which increases their performance and makes them more space-efficient.
- Requires much less silicon: Amorphous silicon only require about 1% of the silicon that would`ve been used to produce a crystalline-silicon based solar cell.
- Cost reduction: The substrates can be made out of inexpensive materials such as glass, stainless steel and plastic.
- Flexible and lightweight: A flexible thin-film module enables us be much more creative when it comes to applications. They can be placed on curved surfaces.
- Perform well under poor lighting conditions: Thin-film solar cells perform relatively well under poor lighting conditions and are not affected as much by shading issues.
- Saves space: The panels do not need to be placed on the roof. They can be used in place of the tempered glasses on the buildings.
- Extra protection: Amorphous panels are Water proof, Fire proof, Noise proof, Cyclone resistant and provides insulation from outside climate.
- Aesthetic: It can be made transparent with different colors which makes the building look better.
- Better Efficiency: Comparison between electricity generated by Poly and A-si, if same intensity, Amorphous silicon will generate more.
How to design a PV Off-grid system?
- Collect some data viz. Latitude of the location, and solar irradiance (one for every month).
- Calculation of total solar energy.
- Estimate the required electrical energy on a monthly/weekly basis (in kwh):
Required Energy = Equipment Wattage X Usage Time.
- Calculate the system size using the data from ‘worst month’ which can be as follows:
a. The current requirement will decide the number of panels required.
b. The days of autonomy decides the storage capacity of the system i.e. the number of batteries required.
Solar Map of India
Comparison of Si on the basis
1 MW Renewable Power Plant