Solar Panels

Welcome to this installment of SPW Classroom on Solar Panels.


Solar panels are the most recognizable part of a solar array. They absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity that is then fed through wires and inverters to be used by homes and businesses. In general, all solar panels consist of glass or polymer layers surrounding solar cells. But technologies are pushing solar panels to new designs and advancements every day.


Here you will find resources describing the various types of solar panels and their many manufacturing categories. These tutorials are all designed to give you a better understanding of this important component of solar arrays.

Kelly Pickerel

Editor in Chief, Solar Power World

Solar Panels

Principles • Implementation • Basics

What are bifacial solar modules?

What is a half-cell solar panel?

What are solar panels made of?

What are shingled solar modules?

That depends on what type of solar panel you’re looking at. There are two main types of solar panels, or modules, used in rooftop and ground-mounted installations: crystalline silicon and thin-film.

Bifacial solar modules offer many advantages over traditional solar panels. Power can be produced from both sides of a bifacial module, increasing total energy generation.

A solar panel manufacturing process that has gotten some traction recently is "shingling."

IHS Markit predicted that passivated emitter rear cells (PERC) technology would go from a blip in the market in 2014 to mainstream by 2020—a prediction confirmed by anyone looking at panel models released this year. 

What is thin-film solar?

What are heterojunction technology (HJT) solar panels?

What are high-efficiency solar panels?

What is a perovskite solar cell?

Heterojunction technology is a not-so-new solar panel production method that has really picked up steam in the last decade.

When it comes to solar projects, the main goal is producing as much energy in as little space as possible.

Like every emerging solar trend, "perovskite" technology has been discussed in research circles for many years, but now it seems to be picking up steam.

If there's one product that has the opportunity to benefit from the tariffs on crystalline silicon solar panels, it’s the thin-film module.

Related Resources

Solar Basics: What are tier 1 solar panels?

Solar Basics: What are solar panels made of?

Webinar: The Rise of PERC Modules—Understanding Their Advantages and How to Use Software to Model Them

Webinar: Bifacial Modules with Transparent Backsheet: Maximizing Performance and Reliability