The use of solar panels is probably the most accessible investment in renewable energy. The solar energy is clean energy that helps to fight against the issuance of CO 2 while generating a stable source of income through reselling opportunities to EDF.


  • Brief History of Solar Panels
  • The operation of photovoltaic panels
  • Comparison of photovoltaic panels
  • The financial benefits associated with the use of photovoltaic solar panels
  • Some directories listing the manufacturers, distributors and installers in France panneauxphotovoltaiques

Brief History of Solar Panels

The discovery of the photovoltaic effect is attributed to Edmund Becquerel in 1839. If the work of various researchers (including Albert Einstein) then contributed to the advancement of research on the use of solar energy, thanks to the space industry that must especially the appearance of the first reliable technologies in the 60s for the electrification of satellites. Following the surge in oil prices in 1973 (oil crisis) and the energy crisis that arose, solar panels began to be used as domestic (house, apartment, home life) as an alternative source of electricity and heating.

Since 2000, the announced end of Petroleum Resources ( 30 years! ) was a decisive environmental argument for increased exploitation of sources renewable energy which the solar energy . Many countries have adopted measures to encourage both businesses and individuals to make investments in solar panels.

Photovoltaic solar panels1

There are 2 categories of signs :

  • The solar panels to supply electricity.
  • The solar panels to produce heat.

These panels are called rigid, in contrast to the portable solar panels which are foldable. Of hybrid solar panels (photovoltaic / thermal) are increasingly marketed by distributors.

The operation of photovoltaic panels

PV panels consist of three modules:

The photovoltaic module : compound of silicon photovoltaic cells which are electrically connected together
The battery or solar battery to store electricity if the site is not connected to the EDF network
The inverter or inverter for converting the direct current into alternating current according EDF (220V 50Hz,) Basic

Photovoltaic solar panels2

Besides the size of the panel, the following criteria should be considered in selecting the proper installation for your project (study to be done by a professional installer :

  • The sun exposure of your site
  • The size of the installation surface
  • The efficiency of the panel ( it is the share of solar energy converted into electricity )
  • The investment cost, which varies depending on the selected panels.

Currently three types of solar panels are mainly in trade:

  • The flexible panels amorphous silicon s
  • The monocrystalline panels
  • The polycrystalline panels
  • They are distinguished by the method of manufacture of photovoltaic cells.

Comparison of photovoltaic panels

Types manufacturing Yield cost  benefits Disadvantages
flexible panels thin layer of silicon spread 7% the cheapest prices on the market
  • suitable for shady areas
  • easy to install on a complex architecture


  • low productivity
Monocrystalline thick 16% higher prices
  • small area occupied
  • long life (30 years)
  • small area occupied
  • sensitivity to temperature rises
  • wide variation in performance depending on the brightness
Polycrystalline panels melting scrap silicon 13% best ratio performance / price BUT further provide the cost of building any of the roof due to the higher weight of the plant
  • good compromise between soft and monocrystalline panels
  • sensitivity to temperature rises
  • additional investment cost

The financial benefits associated with the use of photovoltaic solar panels

The resale of electricity: you can resell partially or totally the electricity produced by your system to EDF. The income is non-taxable

You are entitled to a tax credit up to 50% (revised 2012 conditions) to purchase equipment if the installer is approved .

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