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A solar module (panel ) consists of interconnected and encapsulated solar cells in a durable and environmentally protected package. The encapsulation system incorporates the latest developments proven by the U.S. Department of Energy Photovoltaic Energy Program. Tempered low-iron glass is normally used as the front cover (or superstrate) to provide permanently transparent protection for the optical surface of the module. However, other types of glass, such as window glass, may be also applicable. Beneath the glass, there are in sequence, clear ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) encapsulant, the cell circuit, a second layer of EVA, a fiberglass sheet, a back cover (Tedlar, Glass or Metal) and a junction box.

EVA, which is supplied in sheet form, is functioned as transparent soft encapsulant as well as adhesive for bonding the layers together. The lamination process is designed to thoroughly remove the air from between all layers. The fiberglass mat protects the back cover film from those damages that can be caused by the back side of the cell circuit during the module's lifetime. When the EVA encapsulant is heated during lamination, it melts and impregnates the fiberglass, which provides a strong bond extending from the backside of the cells, through the fiberglass, to the back cover.

The module edges, where the back cover film meets the glass, are protected by a gasket. This edge gasket cushions the glass panel in the module frame to prevent degradation of the edge by daily thermal cycling.

Electrical output leads are brought through the encapsulant and back cover. The leads go to a junction box mounted on the back of the module, where weather-tight wire connections are made.

Followed are four different types of solar modules: