Flexible Solar Panels - How They Work and Where to Buy

Traditionally, solar panels are heavy, rigid and difficult to move. Now, however, technology has presented us with a new generation of solar panels.
Flexible solar panels are a wonderful revolution that could ensure the success of this form of renewable energy in the future.
How are Flexible Panels Made?
The vast majority of these panels are made from a thin-film amorphous silicon, which is placed over polymer substrates. Semiconductor units are placed on the substrate and the solar cells are connected as the silicon deposits are being placed on top.
Essentially, what is created is a lightweight series of layers, which are thin and flexible, making it possible to roll the panel up.

Why Use Flexible Panels?
There are, of course, many reasons that these types of solar panels are becoming more popular. Principally, because they are easy to travel with, so they can be used as portable chargers for handheld devices and gadgets, such as laptops, MP3 players and cell phones.
Moreover, they can be used to power camping equipment when you are out in the wilderness.
However, their use is not confined to portable ventures. In fact, the flexibility of these solar panels makes them perfect for installing a solar power system into the fabric of any building.
Therefore, in the future, homes and business may be built with an integrated solar power system.

How Much do Flexible Panels Cost?
Perhaps surprisingly, these panels made from amorphous silicon are typically cheaper than the traditional crystalline panels. The reason for this is that the panels use far less semiconductor material.
In a flexible panel, each layer of film is just 1 micrometer thick. Crystalline panels, however, have between 150 and 200 cells.
Of course, this does not come without its drawbacks. The efficiency of a flexible panel is way below that of a traditional panel, which means that the amount of energy harnessed by the sun is greatly reduced when using a flexible panel.
However, the good news is that work is underway to improve the efficiency of the flexible cells to ensure that they reach the same level of efficacy as the crystalline cells.

Where to Purchase a Flexible Panel
Naturally, there is a wide range of flexible solar panels that differ in size and shape. All of the major solar panel providers, such as Silicon Solar, Inc and Powerfilm, have had a hand in the creation of these panels.
Now, there are many smaller businesses joining the competition. Therefore, if you are looking for flexible panels, it is worth shopping around, as you may be able to get a bargain.
Obviously, as technology advances (and it is doing so at a rapid rate) the life expectancy of solar cells will improve as will the efficiency of all solar panels.

However, it is expected that flexible solar panels will eventually usurp their rigid and bulky predecessors. Consequently, not only can you be self-sufficient in your own home, but you can also have your own source of electricity wherever you go.
Did you know that you can easily and cheaply make your own residential solar panels? You can save thousands on energy costs by clicking here.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4139825


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