Not all solar PV panels are the same – here’s what you need to know

As South Africans continue to grapple with non-stop loadshedding and persistent area outages, renewable energy sources such as solar power have become an obvious choice to take the power back in your own hands.

With the rise in demand for solar panels, manufacturers have been developing new technologies to improve the efficiency and durability of solar panels. One such technology is the “glass on glass” solar PV panel.

Glass-on-glass panels differ from the more traditional glass-film solar panels in several ways.

They are constructed with two glass layers instead of a glass and plastic combination, which provides many benefits over the conventional models.

Here are the benefits of glass-on-glass solar PV panels and what makes them different.

1. More Power for Longer

Glass-on-glass panels are known to produce more power for a longer period than their traditional counterparts. This is due to several factors, including a crushed ceramic glass layer that increases output by 1.5%. In addition, glass-on-glass panels have a slower decay rate, with decay rates of 0.40% in the first year, compared to the 4.5% decay rate that is common with traditional panels. This means that glass-on-glass panels maintain their efficiency for a longer.

Moreover, glass-on-glass panels come with a longer output warranty of 30 years, as opposed to 25 years for traditional panels. This provides greater peace of mind for those investing in solar power.

2. Increased Robustness

One of the key advantages of glass-on-glass modules is their increased robustness. Since the front and rear glass sheets are of equal thickness, no compressive or tensile stress is generated in the neutral fiber. This means that the embedded solar cells are optimally protected from mechanical stress. In addition, the thermal expansion of both glass layers is identical, which means that the solar cells are exposed to less stress in hot or cold conditions.

Glass-on-glass panels also have better resistance to mechanical loads, making them more robust. Despite having a thinner glass front sheet, glass-on-glass panels are more stable, as the panel comprises a total thickness of 4 mm of glass. This also protects the back of the panel from damage more effectively.

3. Increased Safety

Glass-on-glass panels are also safer than traditional panels. Glass has significantly better fire behaviour and provides better protection from humidity, ammonia, and salt-spray. In addition, glass-on-glass panels do not contain plastic, which means that they have increased fire resistance, as there is no plastic to burn.

4. Increased Eco-friendliness

The construction of glass-on-glass panels and the recyclability of the materials used make the module substantially more eco-friendly than conventional combinations of materials. This means that they have a lower carbon footprint and are a more sustainable choice for those who are looking to reduce their environmental impact.

Final words

Not all solar PV panels are the same, and glass-glass panels offer several benefits that are worth considering. They produce more power for longer, have a slower decay rate, come with a longer output warranty, and have much higher mechanical strength and fire resistance.

Glass-on-glass panels may be more expensive than conventional glass-film panels, but the benefits they offer are worth considering – especially the longer linear power output warranty of 30 years.

If you’re looking for a solar PV panel that is more robust, has higher mechanical strength and fire resistance, produces more power for longer, and is more eco-friendly, then glass-on-glass panels may be the right choice for you.

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