A solar panel is made up of several layers. At the centre of these layers are the solar cells, which convert light into electricity. There are several options for the construction of solar panels, which determine the quality, yield and durability of a solar panel.
You choose solar panels because it is the right investment that pays for itself in a sustainable way. Therefore, you want a high-quality panel that is weather-resistant, has a long lifespan and a high yield. Broadly speaking, there are two types of solar panels: glass-on-glass solar panels and glass-on-foil solar panels.
Glass-on-glass solar panels are composed of a glass sheet, the actual solar cells and, on the underside, another glass sheet. Glass-film panels are made up of a glass sheet, the solar cells and a film on the underside. The plastic foil used is cheaper to make but is also less durable. Solar panels are located on the outside of a building where they are exposed to high temperatures due to bright summertime sun in, low temperatures in winter, rain, hail, snow and strong winds. With all of this in mind, the desired yield over their entire lifetime should be as high as possible.
Delivering a high yield over the entire lifetime; that is where glass-on-glass solar panels excel. Whereas a plastic film may develop small cracks and fissures over time, a glass panel remains strong and whole. The building parts where you can apply solar panels, such as the roof, façade and windows, are designed to last. Roofing, cladding and windows have a lifespan of more than 40 years. Glass-glass panels have an equal lifespan of more than 40 years, where glass-foil panels have a significantly shorter lifespan of 25 years. So, with glass-glass solar panels, maintenance runs parallel to the structural elements.
Solar modules are available with or without a frame, as a standard solar module that can be mounted using a support or brackets. Glass-on-glass solar modules are also available without a frame, so they can be incorporated into the building as part of the roof, façade or as a window. The lack of a frame gives a neat, uniform appearance.
If you want to buy glass-glass solar panels, take into account an investment that is 20 to 50 per cent higher than for glass-film panels. This is offset by a higher yield with lower degradation. The yield remains higher than for a glass-film solar panel over its lifetime. A glass-film solar panel also lasts longer. This makes this type of solar panel a better long-term investment.
Would you like more information about our products, such as the Powerglaz glass-film-glass panels or the colourable Pixasolar panels? Or would you like an instant quotation? Then get in touch with us.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Glass-glass solar modules consist of a layer of glass, then the solar cells and then another layer of glass, whereas glass-film solar modules have a plastic film as the bottom layer. By using glass as the top and bottom layer, the yield is higher, the degradation lower and the lifespan longer.
Glass-glass solar panels have a price that is 20 to 50 per cent higher than the price of glass-film solar panels. The higher yield and longer lifespan make a glass-glass solar panel a better investment than a glass-film solar panel.