"A solar panel is a collection of solar cells. Lots of small solar cells spread over a large area can work together to provide enough power to be useful. The more light that hits a cell, the more electricity it produces, so spacecraft are usually designed with solar panels that can always be pointed at the Sun even as the rest of the body of the spacecraft moves around, much as a tank turret can be aimed independently of where the tank is going.
A solar panel is actually a collection of solar (or photovoltaic) cells, which can be used to generate electricity through photovoltaic effect. These cells are arranged in a grid-like pattern on the surface of solar panels.
Thus, it may also be described as a set of photovoltaic modules, mounted on a structure supporting it. A photovoltaic (PV) module is a packaged and connected assembly of 610 solar cells.
When it comes to wear-and-tear, these panels are very hardy. Solar panels wear out extremely slow. In a year, their effectiveness decreases only about one to two per cent (at times, even lesser).
Most solar panels are made up using crystalline silicon solar cells.
Installation of solar panels in homes helps in combating the harmful emissions of greenhouse gases and thus helps reduce global warming. Solar panels do not lead to any form of pollution and are clean. They also decrease our reliance on fossil fuels (which are limited) and traditional power sources.
These days, solar panels are used in wide-ranging electronic equipments like calculators, which work as long as sunlight is available.
However, the only major drawback of solar panels is that they are quite costly. Also, solar panels are installed outdoors as they need sunlight to get charged."