1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Solar Paneling is Reflective?

  1. Jul 22, 2008 #1
    I was just wondering why solar paneling is shiny. Doesn't that mean light is reflected and wasted?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Yes - ideally it would be completely black.
    In practice the glass top layer is reflective at low angles of incidence and the aluminium wires which carry the electricity away are also reflective.
    You see this most in cheap low-power panels for calculators or toys, high grade panels eg. for space, are very black.
  4. Jul 22, 2008 #3
    Well, yes, solar panels are indeed inefficient although not for lack of trying. They are actually coated with some kind of anti reflective compound, but this compound still reflects back about 30% of the light incident on it. Overall solar panels are only about 15% efficient, although newer techniques are trying to make them more efficient.

    http://http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2008-02/eye-anti-reflective" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Solar Paneling is Reflective?
  1. Solar panels (Replies: 8)

  2. Solar Panels (Replies: 1)

  3. Floating Solar Panels (Replies: 2)

  4. Solar Panel Debacle (Replies: 2)