small solar electric modules
In addition to solar cells, a typical
photovoltaic (PV) module or solar panel consists of these components:
- A transparent top surface, usually glass
- An encapsulant – usually thin sheets of ethyl vinyl acetate
that hold together the top surface, solar cells, and rear surface
- A rear layer – a thin polymer sheet, typically Tedlar, that
prevents the ingress of water and gases
- A frame around the outer edge, typically aluminum.
Energy performance ratings
Energy performance ratings for PV modules include the following:
- Peak watt (Wp)
Measures the maximum power of a module under laboratory conditions of
relatively high light level, favorable air mass, and low cell temperature.
These conditions are not typical in the real world.
- Normal operating cell temperature (NOCT)
Measures a module's nominal operating cell temperature after the module
first equilibrates with a specified ambient temperature. It results
in a lower watt value than the peak-watt rating, but it is probably
- AMPM standard
Measures the performance of a solar module under more realistic operating
conditions. It considers the whole day rather than "peak" sunshine hours,
based on the description of a standard solar global-average day (or
a practical global average) in terms of light levels, ambient temperature,
and air mass.
ENERGY AND POWER