Solar Cell vs. Solar Panel: Do You Know the Difference?

Recent research finds that a complete transition to renewable energy could save US households a total of $321 billion. As household budgets continue to tighten during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, these potential savings could save the American family.

If you’re interested in switching to renewable energy, the best place to start is solar. Solar energy is an established and trusted renewable resource that should be on your radar.

In this article, we discuss the differences between solar cell vs. solar panel to help you make a more informed decision about renewable energy for your home or business.

Solar Cell Vs. Solar Panel

One confusion we often see regarding solar cells and solar panels is the assumption that they are two different options for solar energy. While they sound like they serve similar functions, this assumption is untrue.

In reality, solar cells and solar panels are both components of the larger renewable energy system.

What Is a Solar Cell?

The solar cell is also called the solar photovoltaic cell. These are components of solar panels. In the next section, we discuss the function cells play in the solar harvesting process.

Solar cells are composed of several layers. The key layers within these cells are two semiconductors at the center of each cell. When exposed to sunlight, the semiconductors transform that energy into electricity and push it out toward the rest of the cell.

This process creates an electrical current, making solar energy possible.

What Is a Solar Panel?

Each solar photovoltaic cell produces a finite amount of energy. To power the lights for a whole home or office, you need many cells. 

Columns and rows of solar cells connected by circuits make up the foundation of solar panels. Standard panels have either 60 or 72 cells, but the largest panels house up to 96.

Sealing the cells together in a panel amplifies the electricity produced by the solar system. The rest of the panel serves to protect the cells from external dangers like inclement weather, falling branches, or critters. 

Solar Panels for Home and Business

Sometimes your solar energy needs only require a single solar panel. While some solar modules come as single panels, you’ll find many have multiple panels within a single module. Professionals sometimes refer to these as solar arrays.

The number of panels one needs for solar energy depends on a few factors. These include your energy consumption index, space available, and whether you plan to partially or fully transition to renewable energy.

To determine the size and number of solar panels you need for your home or business, it is best to consult with solar experts. They can help you find the best options to suit your specific needs.

If you’re thinking of switching to partial or total solar energy, consider a cost estimate for solar installation.

New Tech Today

The differences in the solar cell vs. solar panel are subtle but important. Overall, solar modules are an effective renewable energy technology available for your home or business.

If you want news about more new tech you can implement at home or work, check out our technology blog today.

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