The Basics

Solar Technology

Solar Technology

Tried and Tested Technology

When it comes to switching to solar power, the time is truly now. The rule of thumb when utilizing any new technology is “wait until they get the bugs out.” For residential solar panels, that wait is over. Astrum Solar uses crystalline silicon technology, the most reliable, proven solar technology available. Fifty years of continuous innovation since the technology was first developed has resulted in panels that last more than 30 years at incredibly high efficiency levels.

The vast majority, nearly 90%, of solar panels sold today are crystalline silicon panels. To make these panels, raw silicon (sand) is melted at very high temperatures and impurities in the silicon are removed. In their place, new specific impurities (called dopants) that allow the movement of electrons within the silicon are introduced. The special semiconductor properties of silicon, combined with these specific impurities, allow electricity to be generated when light hits the silicon. The melted silicon is cooled and forms crystals as it solidifies into an ingot of pure silicon. The ingot is then sliced into thin wafers which will sit out in the sun and generate electricity. The thin wafers are soldered together to a metal backing, covered with incredibly durable glass that resists hail strikes, and mounted in the roof of a building.

While there have been few advances in residential solar panel technology in recent years, there has been one major advance in inverter technology — microinverters. Astrum Solar was the first installer in the region to use Enphase microinverters, which are now becoming the standard in the industry.

Smarter and More Efficient Systems

Traditionally, solar panels are connected together in series circuits fed into a single, central inverter device. This means that one inverter controls tens, hundreds or even thousands of solar panels as if they are one unit operating at the same power level. This approach reduces the overall system efficiency and limits the available information about individual panel health. Astrum Solar replaces these large central inverters with small micro-electronics that attach to each solar panel. These devices, known as microinverters, allow each panel to operate independently, leading to significant improvements in energy production and adding a new layer of intelligence throughout your solar system.