What are Solar Panels Made of?

Posted on 15 March 2024 by The Solar Co

What are Solar Panels Made of?

Solar panels modules are primarily composed of semiconductor materials that can convert sunlight into electrical energy. The most common material used in solar panels is crystalline silicon, which comes in two main forms: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline silicon is made from a single crystal structure, resulting in higher efficiency and a sleeker appearance. Polycrystalline silicon, on the other hand, is produced by melting and solidifying multiple silicon fragments, making it a cost-effective alternative with slightly lower efficiency. These silicon wafers are typically thinly sliced and carefully arranged to create the solar cells, which are the building blocks of a solar panel.

Solar panels are composed of semiconductor materials, typically crystalline silicon cells, housed in a durable aluminium frame. Additional components include tempered glass, encapsulant (often EVA), and a backsheet (polyester or fluoropolymer). These materials work together to convert sunlight into electricity efficiently.

Glass Layer

The glass layer in solar panels serves two essential functions: protecting the solar cells and enhancing overall durability. Firstly, it acts as a shield, safeguarding the delicate solar cells from external elements such as dust, rain, and debris. This protective barrier ensures the longevity and optimal performance of the solar cells by preventing potential damage caused by environmental factors. Secondly, the glass layer contributes significantly to the durability of the entire solar panel. Its robust composition provides structural support and helps the panel withstand various weather conditions, including wind and hail. In summary, the glass layer plays an important role in safeguarding the solar cells and reinforcing the overall durability of the solar panel, ensuring reliable and long-lasting performance.

Encapsulant (EVA)

The encapsulant, often referred to as EVA, plays a crucial role in ensuring the effectiveness and durability of solar panels. First and foremost, it acts as a protective layer with insulation properties, safeguarding the solar cells from external factors. This insulation helps in maintaining a stable environment for the cells to function optimally, contributing to the overall efficiency of the solar panel.

In addition to insulation, EVA is a reliable barrier against moisture. By preventing moisture from entering the solar panel, EVA helps protect the delicate components from potential damage. This moisture prevention feature is vital in extending the lifespan of the solar panels and maintaining their performance over time, even in varying weather conditions. Overall, the encapsulant, with its insulation properties and moisture prevention capabilities, plays an important role in ensuring the long-term reliability and functionality of solar panels.


The backsheet of a solar panel serves as a protective layer and electrical insulator. It is made of materials like polyester and fluoropolymer. These materials play a crucial role in safeguarding the solar cells from environmental factors and ensuring the panel's durability. Polyester and fluoropolymer act as a shield, preventing moisture from entering and providing insulation to the electrical components within the solar panel. In simpler terms, the backsheet is like sturdy armour that keeps the internal parts safe and helps the solar panel work efficiently over time.

Aluminium Frame

The aluminium frame of solar panels serves two essential purposes: providing structural support and making installation easier. First, it offers structural support by creating a sturdy framework that holds the various components together, ensuring the durability and integrity of the entire solar panel system. This structural stability is crucial for withstanding environmental factors such as wind, rain, and snow, enhancing the longevity of the solar panels.

Secondly, the aluminium frame plays a key role in facilitating easy installation. Its lightweight yet robust nature simplifies the handling and positioning of the solar panels during the installation process. The frame is designed to be user-friendly, allowing installers to securely mount the panels in place with efficiency. This ease of installation not only streamlines the setup process but also contributes to the overall accessibility of solar panel technology, making it more practical for a wide range of applications and locations.

Working Mechanism

Solar cells in a panel are like a team, working together to generate electricity. They are connected to each other, allowing them to share the sunlight they capture. Think of it as a group effort, where each cell contributes to the overall power production. This interconnection ensures that the energy collected by one cell is combined with that of others, making the whole system more effective in converting sunlight into electricity.

Now, let's break down how sunlight is turned into electricity in simple terms. When sunlight hits the solar cells, it excites the electrons inside them, making them move. These moving electrons create an electric current, which is the flow of electricity. It's like the cells are capturing the energy from the sun and transforming it into usable power. This process is what allows solar panels to generate electricity that can be used to power homes, businesses, and various devices.

In summary, solar panels are like high-tech teams working together. They're made mainly of special silicon cells that turn sunlight into electricity – some are super-efficient (monocrystalline), and others are more budget-friendly (polycrystalline). The cells are protected by strong glass and a tough backsheet, while a special coating (EVA) keeps everything safe from moisture. The sturdy aluminium frame not only holds everything in place but also makes it easy to set up. Picture the cells as friends sharing sunlight, creating an electric current that powers our homes and devices. Understanding how these components work together helps us see the magic behind solar panels and why they're an exciting solution for clean and sustainable energy.


What role does the encapsulant (EVA) play in solar panels?

The encapsulant, often made of EVA, acts as a protective layer with insulation properties. It safeguards the solar cells from external factors, maintains a stable environment for optimal functioning, and prevents moisture from entering, ensuring the long-term reliability of the solar panels.

How do solar cells work together in a panel?

Solar cells in a panel are interconnected, allowing them to share the sunlight they capture. This collaboration ensures that the energy collected by one cell is combined with others, making the overall system more effective in converting sunlight into electricity.

Why is the backsheet important in solar panels?

The backsheet serves as a protective layer and electrical insulator. Composed of materials like polyester or fluoropolymer, it shields the solar cells from environmental factors, prevents moisture ingress, and contributes to the overall durability and longevity of the solar panel.

What is the purpose of the aluminium frame in solar panels?

The aluminium frame provides structural support to the solar panels, creating a sturdy framework that enhances their durability and integrity. Additionally, the frame facilitates easy installation, making the technology more accessible and practical.

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