Solar panels: advantages and disadvantages

Solar panels are one of the most popular renewable energy installations for individuals. They offer various configurations so that each household can find the solution that suits them. Different technologies are also available to you. Are you thinking of installing solar panels? DelightFire takes stock of the advantages and disadvantages of the different equipment available in 2022.

Solar panels advantages and disadvantages

What is solar panels?

Solar panels are devices that directly convert solar energy into electricity using photovoltaic effects that occur in semiconductor materials under light conditions and are the most direct of many ways to harness solar energy, with most materials being silicon. Solar photovoltaic power can be generated wherever there is sunlight, making it suitable for many applications, from large power stations to small portable chargers.

However, despite the large solar energy reserves, the proportion of electricity produced by solar power to the total global energy consumption is still quite small, about 0.16%. Therefore, the active development of low-cost and high-efficiency solar panel materials to improve the photoelectric conversion rate will be conducive to solving the world’s energy and environmental crisis and has a very large use value and practical significance.

solar panel silicone wire

Advantages and disadvantages of solar panels in 2022

There are 4 different types of solar panels. Each technology has its added value and its minor shortcomings, but before going into detail, here are the different attributes and pitfalls common to all solar panels, regardless of how they are manufactured and used:

Advantages of solar panels in 2022

They run on free, unlimited, green energy.

They are eligible for state aid (MaPrimeRenov, zero rate eco-loan, reduced VAT, CEE, regional aid, or Anah, depending on the situation).

This is an added value for your home.

They offer a long-term vision of your energy budget.

They are silent.

They produce the energy necessary for their manufacture in 3 to 4 years.

Disadvantages of solar panels in 2022

The initial investment is quite high.

It is sometimes not very aesthetic.

Photovoltaic panels: advantages and disadvantages in 2022

Photovoltaic models are the ones to choose if you want to produce electricity in the family of solar panels. Its photovoltaic cells collect the sun’s rays and thus produce an electrical voltage. Silicon is the conductive material mainly used to manufacture photovoltaic solar panels. There are 3 types of cells:

Monocrystalline silicon cells: here, they are made of a single block of silicon. They have uniformly oriented crystals, which gives them a good yield of between 15 and 20%. These solar panels are generally black.

Polycrystalline silicon cells: These are panels with multiple crystals. This gives them a satisfactory energy production capacity, especially in areas with good sunlight, where their 12 to 15% efficiency can be sufficient. This time the cells are blue.

Amorphous silicon cells: silicon gas is deposited on glass, metal, or plastic surfaces to create very interesting cells for large surfaces. If the yield is 6 to 8%, it remains optimal even on cloudy days, high temperatures, or flat roofs.

Contrary to what you might think, photovoltaic panels love the sun, not the heat. The temperature that ensures optimal operation is 25°C. Beyond that, electricity production can drop by 25%.

Note: To ensure that your solar panels work at their best, orient them towards the South with a 30° inclination. It is also important to ensure that there are no cast shadows and that the solar panels are clean.

Advantages of photovoltaic solar panels in 2022

Wide variety of technologies to suit all budgets and geographical locations.

Quick return on investment (the cost of electricity continues to rise).

Production of all or part of your electricity consumption.

Resell your electricity.

Energy savings and even the possibility of earning money by selling your electricity production.

Quick installation.

Low maintenance.

Disadvantages of photovoltaic panels in 2022

They can not equip all houses because they require a certain exposure to operate fully.

Their lifespan is about 20 years, but only about ten years for the inverter.

Good to know: solar panels work everywhere

While solar energy production is highest in the sunniest areas, installing solar panels in areas that are less fortunate in the weather is possible. This is because the sun’s rays turn the panels, not the light. For example, solar panels installed in the North produce only 30% less energy than similar models installed in the South.

Aerovoltaic solar panels: advantages and disadvantages in 2022

Aerovoltaic solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells to which a ventilation system has been added. Placed under the panels, it allows for exploiting the hot air released by the cells. The great advantage is that you produce electricity and warm air for your home.

Advantages of aerovoltaic solar panels in 2022

They offer a double function by allowing to produce electricity, but also energy for heating or domestic hot water.

They limit the loss of production of photovoltaics when temperatures rise thanks to the exploitation of the heat released.

It is possible to produce fresh air in summer thanks to the air that circulates under the panels at night.

They offer a good ventilation system.

Disadvantages of aerovoltaic solar panels in 2022

They are more expensive than conventional photovoltaics.

It is a fairly recent technology and can be improved.

The ventilation cannot replace a VMC.

It is more efficient in summer.

The heating production can show its limits in the heart of winter.

They require a modification of the roof.

The house must be perfectly insulated.

The longevity is difficult to estimate.

Good to know: what is the yield of solar panels?

The yield of solar panels

It is expressed as a percentage since it is the proportion of solar rays transformed into energy. Consumer models have an efficiency of between 6 and 20%. The maximum power of your equipment (expressed in peak watts) is another criterion to consider to determine the size needed for your installation and compare the different models.

Solar thermal panels: advantages and disadvantages in 2022

Thermal solar panels heat the sun’s rays to produce domestic hot water and heating. They come in two installations: the individual solar water heater and the combined solar system (larger tank for water and heating). A heat transfer fluid is used to transport the captured heat, and it is possible to choose between :

Glazed collectors: a black glass attracts and retains the heat;

Unglazed collectors: black plastic tubes capture the heat. This technology is recommended for swimming pools, as the maximum temperature is around 30°C;

Evacuated tube collectors: the most innovative technology that allows to obtain a high temperature quickly all year long.

Advantages of solar thermal panels in 2022

They can be installed in all regions.

They provide part of the production of domestic hot water.

They can also provide water for heating.

Disadvantages of solar thermal panels in 2022

They cannot provide all the energy needed for your water needs.

They are sensitive to hail and frost.

Tube versions are more efficient but also more expensive.

They do not produce electricity.

Their integration on old roofs may not be very aesthetic.

Hybrid solar panels: advantages and disadvantages in 2022

The front of the solar panel is made up of photovoltaic cells. At the back, an exchanger allows the heat produced by the solar panels and the sun’s heat to be used. It is sent to a boiler or a water heater to increase the temperature of domestic hot water or for heating.

Advantages of hybrid solar panels in 2022:

They can produce electricity, but also hot water or heating.

It is possible to consume or resell the electricity, and it is possible to use the hot water immediately or later.

The energy efficiency is between 70 and 90%.

Optimization of the used surface.

The photovoltaic panels offer a better yield than conventional models, thanks to the cooling system.

Disadvantages of hybrid solar panels in 2022:

They are more expensive than conventional photovoltaics.

Decrease in the yield of photovoltaic production when the temperature rises too much.

They include a temperature stabilization system that can limit thermal energy production.

Among the renewable energies for individuals, solar energy has a bright future. Producing electricity, capturing heat for your domestic hot water system or heating, or even several functions at once: saving money on your energy bill has never been easy. Now that you know everything about solar panels and their advantages and disadvantages in 2022, you’ll have no trouble choosing the technology that meets your needs. Photovoltaic, aerovoltaic, hybrid, or thermal.

DelightFire is the leading wire & cable manufacturer in China, our high temperature resistant silicone wire is mainly used in solar panels, and we have a long cooperation with NVC, BULL, Intelamp, Philips, etc. If you have questions about which solution is best for you, ask the professionals in the DelightFire network for advice.


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