Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a solar panel. They are quite big and look very heavy, right? Plus, you’ve already heard from us about how your solar panels will last for the next decade (at a minimum) and perform in all weathers. So while your panels can withstand almost anything, they do require some care. Picture the top of your panel and you’ll see it’s made up of many smaller pieces all working together underneath – so you might start to wonder if it’s as durable as you first thought. Well, let’s discuss the strength of your solar panel.
Let’s briefly review the layers that make up a solar panel. Most solar panels are made up of six main parts: the junction box, a back sheet, two layers of encapsulant that sandwich the solar cells, tempered glass, and all topped with an aluminum frame. The junction box is a weatherproof container attached to the back of the solar panel, which connects and protects all wires that transmit power. Next comes the backsheet, which is made either of glass or a combination of different polymers and plastics. This prevents the system from overheating. From there you will find the two layers of encapsulant, which is usually a thin plastic adhesive that protects all solar cells during manufacturing, shipping and installation. This also helps protect the most fragile cells since it absorbs the impacts of bad weather. After the second encapsulant layer, a layer of glass covers the panel. This glass prevents debris, dirt or intense UV rays from damaging the panel, while keeping installers safe with safer breaking methods. The last element is the aluminum frame, which plays a vital role in the durability of the whole system. It protects the edges of all exterior layers, provides extra support and keeps it lightweight for your roof.