Solar Cell vs Solar Panel: Difference and Comparison

Solar energy is a great medium to acquire electricity for free but one would have to pay for setting up the entire panel. The Sun is the main source of energy and turns it into electrical energy.

Solar Cell and Solar Panel are practically one thing but very different in technical terms.

Key Takeaways

  1. Solar cells are individual photovoltaic devices that convert sunlight into electricity, while solar panels are assemblies of multiple solar cells.
  2. Solar cells are the basic building blocks of solar energy systems, whereas solar panels are the functional units used in installations.
  3. Solar panels have a more significant energy output capacity than individual solar cells due to their combined power generation.

Solar Cell vs Solar Panel

The difference between solar cell and solar panel is that a solar cell is a unit that is necessary to arrange a solar panel. On the other hand, a solar panel is a large combination of solar modules that are used to generate electricity from the sunlight. Both are essential depending on the needs of a person.

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A solar cell, also known as a solar battery is a medium or device used to transform solar radiation into electricity. Solar Cells use photovoltaic effects to turn sunlight or radiation into electricity.

Solar Cell is considered to be the fundamental unit in a PV system. They have enough capacity to power radios, electronic toys, small fans, etc.

A solar panel is also known as a solar cell panel is a panel manufactured for producing large amounts of electrical energy from solar radiation.

Solar panels are made by assembling solar cells for electricity production on a big scale. Solar panels consist of 5 components that are electrical panel, electrical meter, inverter, sun, and solar panel.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonSolar CellSolar Panel
MeaningA solar cell is considered to be a small apparatus that is used to produce energy by utilizing sunlight. Solar panels are a big infrastructure of multiple solar modules to create electricity on a bigger scale.
Amount of energyA solar cell can transform 20% of the sunlight into electricity, it creates a few watts of electricity. A solar panel is capable of generating around 300 watts of clean electrical energy in one hour.
Made ofSolar cells are made of the crystalline lattice formed by the collision of silicon atoms in an order. Solar panels are made up of Solar modules and Solar modules is consist of solar cells.
TypesSome common types of solar cells are Perovskite solar cells, Quantum do solar cells, Multi-junction solar cells, etc. There are 3 major types of solar panels that are Monocrystalline solar panels, amorphous And Polycrystalline solar panels.
UsageSolar cells are used to generate energy as well as to form solar modules that are used in panels. Solar panels are used to fulfill the demand for electricity in large amounts for different purposes.

What is Solar Cell?

In some cases, Solar cells are also designated as photovoltaic cells. It is a great medium for creating electric energy from solar radiation.

A Solar cell is capable of producing up to 0.6 volts of electrical energy at 25⁰C. This phenomenon of producing electricity is known as a chemical or physical phenomenon.

When a solar cell is placed in sunlight, its voltage, resistance, and current can vary depending on the temperature of the light. Solar Cell is used as the building block of a PV system.

There are numerous types of solar cells, for example, Nanocrystal solar cells, thin-film solar cells, Perovskite solar cells, organic solar cells, biohybrid solar cells, Monocrystalline solar cells, Third-generation solar cells, and many more.

Solar cells are made of Silicon because it has particular chemical properties necessary for the production of energy and it is also considered to be a great conductor of electricity.

It is a well-known fact that pure silicon is not an ideal conductor, hence, to use it in a solar cell, some impurities are added to its structure.

Impurities are considered to be undesirable, but in the case of solar cell construction, they prove themselves to be very beneficial. The electric field of a solar cell forces the free electrons of light in certain directions and it results in electricity.

solar cell

What is Solar Panel?

Solar panels are also known as PV modules. It is a framework made by assembling photo-voltaic cells in a structured way. The electricity in the form of direct current is generated by solar panels via sunlight.

Another form of the solar panel also exists named PV panels which are made by assembling PV modules. It is known to be an array.

The roots of solar panels go way back to 1839 when the ability to create electric charge through light with the help of some material was observed for the first time. The scientist who observed this possibility was Edmond Becquerel. In the procedure of creating electricity, solar panels observe photons from the sun and it is called the photovoltaic effect.

Solar panels are made of solar modules and solar modules are the results of solar cells.

Solar panels involve many other components as well, some of these are tracking system, electricity meter, mounting, AC isolator, cabling, fusebox, charge controller, battery, inverter, etc. Hence all of these components together form a solar panel.

At the early stage, solar energy was only used to create steam. Solar panels are used to create electricity for many purposes in the modern world where electrical energy has become a significant resource.

solar panel

Main Differences Between Solar Cell and Solar Panel

  1. A solar cell is a small unit made to acquire energy from the sun to produce electricity, while a solar panel is a big unit that consists of hundreds of solar cells.
  2. Solar Cells can not produce enough electrical energy alone to power other devices. Solar panels, on the other hand, are arranged to power big infrastructures.
  3. When it comes to production, a solar cell produces a few watts of electrical energy, while a solar panel is capable of generating up to 300 watts of electricity depending on the size.
  4. Silicon Solar Cell was introduced to the world in 1954 at Bell Laboratories. On the other hand, the first solar panel was assembled by Charles Fritts in 1881.
  5. Most solar cells are made up of silicon atoms. On the other hand, solar panels are made of many solar modules arranged in a certain way.
Difference Between Solar Cell and Solar Panel

Last Updated : 11 July, 2023

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