Photovoltaic Module demand has increased by more than 50% each year in the last decade as solar panel costs have gone down sharply by almost 80% in the last 4 years alone as scale and technology have improved.Photovoltaic Modules are a combination of solar cells which generate electricity when light strikes them.Photovoltaic is the name given to this process where electrons are released when photo or light transfer its energy to the solar cells.The following article covers a large amount of literature on Photovoltaic Modules from its costs to selling prices as well as the efficiency of the Photovoltaic Module which affects the Energy Output.There are hundreds of Photovoltaic Module Manufacturers but only a few major ones.There are reviews on the major Photovoltaic Module Suppliers and Market as well.

SunForce is a good marketer and distributor of solar and wind energy products,however it is not a manufacturer of these products.Buying Solar Panels from Sharp does not make too much sense as Sharp Solar Panels are expensive and on top of that you have to pay a margin to SunForce as well.SunForce Foldable and CIGs Thin Film 12V Solar Products also don’t list a manufacturer nor do their solar inverters.SunForce does not look like the type of company who could make a technologically advanced products like a CIGs Solar Panels.You are better off buying charge controllers and solar panels directly from manufacturers rather than using SunForce.For some Solar Battery Kits SunForce might make sense as they have a good distribution.

New Solar Panels and New Scientific Breakthroughs in Solar Technology it seems are reported every month.But Solar Energy is still not competitive with Fossil Fuel Energy despite its obvious advantages.The costs of Solar Energy are declining quickly but they remain still some way from being on par with the dirty forms of energy like Coal.The reason for all these new exciting technologies which are reported in newspaper not being able to bring a fundamental change in the energy scenario is that the costs are too high.Bringing a new solar panel technology from the lab to the factory takes a lot of time and effort.During this time the incumbent technology like crystalline solar technology keeps advancing due to the massive global R&D dollars that are spend and the rising scale.This had made many new startups in solar technology like Solyndra ,Spectrawatt and others bite the dust.You can read about the large number of solar failures in the first wave of thin film solar bankruptcies .

Kaneka is a Japanese company which is present in a number of product categories like chemicals,functional and expandable plastic products, foodstuffs, life science products and synthetic fibers.However the main focus of the company is in Thin Film Solar Panels.Kaneka has been developing amorphous silicon thin film technology since 1980 and has advanced manufacturing into developing higher efficiency tandem microcrystalline silicon solar panels.The company also sells transperant see through solar panels.Note Thin Film Technology is facing existential threat from the rapid price reduction in the mainstream crystalline silicon technology which comprises about 85% of the global solar panel market.Kaneka sells its solar modules under the HYBRID brand name which refers to its hybrid tandem thin film silicon technology.Note other companies like Sanyo,Mitsubishi.Oerlikon have also developed this form of technology which gives higher efficiency solar panels as it captures a bigger part of the solar spectrum.

Types of Solar Panels have increased manifold with the surging global solar demand fueled by falling prices of solar panels/modules.Note Solar Panels prices would have fallen by around 75% in 3 years which is a record for any energy let alone solar energy.This has made Solar Electricity on par with Electricity prices in a number of places globally.The number of manufacturers of solar panels too has increased drastically particuarly in China and Asia.The range of technologies being used to made solar panels has also increased in tandem.However polyscrystalline silicon solar panels continues to be the king of solar panels accounting for a lion’s share of solar panels produced globally (around 75% according to my estimates).Each Solar Panel Technology differs from others in terms of efficiency and price.They also differ in their electricity production capabilities depending on temperature.They also differ in weight and flexibility.The Sizes of Solar Panels are also quite different and different powered solar panels are required for different applications.For a small power need like charging a mobile phone only a 5-20 watt solar panel would do while for powering a solar house you would need a number of 200-300 watt solar panels.

Solar Panels are now available from hundreds of different manufacturers using different technologies like crystalline Silicion,CIGs and Cd-Te.The Solar Panels Efficiency also varies a lot depending on the solar panel manufacturer and the technology used.The cost of the solar panel can also vary a lot depending on the retailer,size of the solar panel,technology and the brand.This makes buying solar panels a confusing problem though most residential and commercial buyers are not involved leaving the decision to the solar installer/EPC company.Sunpower is a US company which makes the most efficient solar panels using its monocrystalline solar cell technology which gives efficiency of more than 24%.The company sells black solar panels with efficiency of 18-20% .The company is a solar system integrator and developer as well building some of the largest solar farms in the US.The company was recently bought by the French Oil Giant Total.Sunpower operates in all the main segments of the market and has reputation for selling some of the highest quality solar panels in the country.