Research on Solar Panels
The global warming and the ecologic problems associated with this trend require the strong response from policymakers from around the world. The planet is able to fully meet its energy demand by using just a tiny fraction of the energy sent by the sun (MESIA, 1-25). In addition, technological progress allowed for a significant reduction in costs of generating solar energy. United Arab Emirates boasts a proper climate to gather this type of energy and gain a competitive advantage, because of a high number of sunny days and tropical weather (MESIA, 1-25). Therefore, the UAE decided to boost investment into solar energy and other renewables. This paper discusses different types of solar panels, companies that sell them and the Masdar project.
Solar Panel Types
Solar energy is a renewable source of energy than can be a perfect solution to the global energy problems. As suggested by MESIA (4), the global demand for energy is projected to reach 35-40 terawatts from current 15 under the best scenario. Therefore, the world should develop renewable sources, in order to protect environment and cope with growing demand. Solar energy is the perfect source. As mentioned by MESIA (5), a square meter plot of land is exposed to the sunlight enough to generate about 1,700 kWh per year, while total sunlight that Earth receives is equivalent to the amount of energy that 10,000 higher than the global annual demand. Therefore, the energy production will jump dramatically, if the world manages to harness the energy.
As MESIA (5-6) suggests, there are two methods widely used in solar energy generation – photovoltaic solar panels, which is the most popular, and solar thermal systems. Therefore, it is reasonable to focus on photovoltaic (PV) technologies. It is also interesting to consider different types of solar panels. According to Maehlum (2015), there are three major types of solar panels – monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film panels. Each of the panels has its advantages and disadvantages. Table-1 shows the comparison of different solar cells in terms of costs and efficiency. The data is provided by MESIA (26).
Table-1: Comparison of different solar panels. Source: MESIA (26).
Monocrystalline solar panels
Solar panels based on monocrystalline silicon are composed of high-purity silicon (Maehlum, 2015). This makes them easily recognizable for the look and coloring, as noted by Maehlum, 2015). As mentioned by Martin (2012), monocrystalline cells have a dark color with rounded corners due to the production process. In the past this type was the leading technology used in manufacturing of solar panels (Sendy, 2016). Monocrystalline cells tend to be the most efficient though the most expensive. Table-2 shows the most productive Monocrystalline panels, according to Maehlun (2013).
Table-2: Monocrystalline solar panels. Source: Maenhlum (2013).
Monocrystalline panels have a number of advantages and disadvantages. According to Sendy (2016), there are the following advantages of using the monocrystalline panels – higher efficiency, strong power and capacity to harness energy, space-efficiency, long lifespan and relatively high efficiency in warm weather when temperature goes up. As Maehlum …