Solar Energy: What Is It?

Many people have heard of solar energy and how it is becoming more and more popular every day. Most people know what it is, but few really understand it. This is mainly because solar energy is a very complex subject and it takes a lot of knowledge to fully understand it. On this page, we will tell you everything you need to know about solar energy so that you can feel confident enough to start generating your own electricity with this environmentally friendly and sustainable source.

What Is Solar Energy?

When the sun shines, it is because it is a source of energy. Plants use this energy to grow and our bodies use it to stay active. However, this energy is not always available when we need it. This is why many people are turning to alternative sources for energy.

People have been generating electricity with solar energy for decades, but they only started using it more frequently in the last few years. As a result, many homes and businesses are starting to look into solar energy options because they know how beneficial it can be. In most cases, solar energy is less expensive than regular energy sources and it does not harm the environment in any way.

Types Of Solar Energy

Depending on where you are located and what time of day it is, you may be able to take advantage of different types of solar energy. However, regardless of the type of setup you have, you will need to generate some electricity regularly if you want to use it. This is where solar panels come in.

There are several different kinds of solar panels to choose from, each with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. It is worth knowing the differences between them if you are new to the subject or if you are just looking for the best price/quality ratio.


This is the most common and most popular type of solar panel and it is made of a single crystal. This means the material inside is completely transparent allowing the light to pass through easily. Unfortunately, this also makes it more susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures and radiation.

The efficiency of a monocrystalline solar panel is very high, but it also means that it is quite expensive. Because of this, many people consider them to be collector only panels. This is mostly due to the fact that they are quite difficult to distribute around your house due to their size.


A polycrystalline solar panel contains a number of crystals that are grown together. This means the material inside is transparent allowing light to pass through easily. Similar to a monocrystalline panel, a polycrystalline solar panel also has a very high efficiency rate. The biggest difference between the two is that a polycrystalline panel is much more affordable. This is mainly due to the fact that there are several smaller crystals inside allowing for a larger surface area. This, in turn, makes it more affordable for individuals and businesses to purchase.


A halophilic panel is one that can withstand high concentrations of salt. This makes them a perfect match for a coastline or a region with heavy surf. When exposed to sunlight, salt forms droplets which then turn into electricity-producing crystals. The efficiency of these kinds of panels is extremely high, but they are also very expensive. Because of this, many consider them to be collector only panels. However, they are still used widely due to their ability to withstand harsh climates and environments.


A single-junction solar panel has only one layer of crystalline silicon meaning it only converts one type of light into electricity (i.e., visible light). This is most efficient because it limits the size of the panel which, in turn, limits the amount of space that is taken up by less expensive materials.

Due to their high efficiency and low cost, single-junction solar panels are also considered to be lab bench quality. This is mainly because they are so easy to work with and understand. Many people who have worked with them before even got the chance to purchase their own due to their freelance nature. As a result, it is quite common to see them in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related fields such as physics, chemistry, and astronomy.

Distributing Solar Energy

Once you have your solar panel and have connected it to your house’s electrical system, you have to start thinking about how you are going to distribute the energy you generate. In most cases, this means using an inverter. This device converts the direct current (DC) electricity that is produced by the solar panel into alternating current (AC) which is usable by electrical appliances such as hairdryers, room heaters, small refrigerators, and vacuum cleaners. Inverters are available in either AC-DC configurations or DC-AC configurations, so you will need to decide which one you need based on where you are going to install them.

Sizing Matters

The number of watts that you generate depends on the size of your solar panel. For example, if you have a 50 watt panel, you will be able to generate 50 watts of electricity. This is enough to power a light bulb or a small fan. This number can also be misleading though as the efficiency of the panel decreases as the square of the distance that light has to travel. For example, if you have a 50 watt panel and it is a hundred meters away from the sun, the efficiency will be 1% of its original level.

As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the panel the more efficiency you will get. However, the more you will pay for this advantage. Another thing to keep in mind is that efficiency drops as the panel gets smaller in size. This makes it more affordable to purchase larger panels for homes and businesses who need more electricity than individuals. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the panel, the higher the efficiency.


Just like any other piece of technology, solar panels need to be maintained in order to keep generating electricity. This means cleaning it regularly with soap and water or an industrial cleaner such as Solaro-Wash or Eco-guard. Dust and dirt on the surface of the panel will absorb sunlight preventing it from converting into electricity. Additionally, panels that are exposed to direct sunlight for too long will become hot which can cause damage or breakage.

PV (Photovoltaic) Vs. APV (Active Polymer) Vs. CSP (Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic)

Many people are under the misconception that all solar panels are the same, but this is far from true. There are several differences in terms of materials, efficiency, cost, and other factors that make each type of solar panel unique. One of the most popular types of solar panels is PV, or photovoltaic. This simply means that it is made of silicon crystals. These panels are quite inexpensive and they are also very easy to maintain and operate. However, they are less efficient than most other panels. Another type of solar panel that is quite popular is APV or active polymer solar panel. These panels have a transparent plastic covering which allows for more light to pass through. This makes them more efficient than PV panels, but it also means they are more expensive to purchase and maintain.

The last type of solar panel is CSP or crystalline silicon photovoltaic. These are a combination of the two previous types and they are becoming more and more popular as a result. The advantage of a CSP or crystalline silicon photovoltaic panel is that it has a much higher efficiency rate than most other types of solar panels. This is mainly due to the fact that the silicon is completely crystallized inside which drastically reduces the number of imperfections present. Another big advantage of CSP or crystalline silicon panels is that they can easily withstand the elements because they are made of a very strong and stable material called crystalline silicon. The disadvantage of a CSP or crystalline silicon panel is that they can only generate electricity in a certain range of the electromagnetic spectrum which is why they are not as efficient in the long term. However, in the short term, they are more cost-effective than most other types of solar panels due to their efficiency rate.

The above information should provide you with a general idea of what solar energy is and how it works. If you are interested in generating your own electricity or just want to find the best price/quality ratio for a solar energy system, then the above information should provide you with a good starting point. If you found this article valuable, then you may want to read our other blog posts on solar energy or visit our website at for more information.

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