The Different Types of Solar Panels: A Comprehensive Guide

Reports by the US solar market insights reveal that by June 2021, the US had installed enough solar panels to reach and power 18.6 million homes. And it is expected to double this capacity over the next five years.

This comes as more home and business owners realize the benefits of solar-generated power. Besides being a renewable source of energy, solar panels lights help to minimize electricity bills. Moreover, the panels feature low maintenance costs and are weather-dependent.

If you wish to install a solar panel in your home, you should understand the types of solar panels, the pros, and cons of each. This guide explains the different options to choose from.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Among the critical aspects to consider when buying solar panels are the efficiency and ease of installation. And that is precisely what you get from monocrystalline solar panels.

Also known as single-crystalline panels, monocrystalline panels have the highest efficiency levels of up to 20%. They are considered the most developed, thanks to their high-tech mode of manufacture with a single crystal.

Monocrystalline panels are primarily designed for large-scale installations. This could be in your commercial building or home. Nonetheless, you can use the panels for small-scale applications such as cameras and battery charging.

Besides energy efficiency, you will love the space efficiency of these panels. They require smaller space for installation compared to their counterparts. Check out blogs about the sun and learn how to make the most out of your panel.

Even better, monocrystalline solar panels have proven their longevity. You can count on the panel to serve you longer than its warranty period. The panels are made of high-grade silicone and work best in warm weather.

The main drawbacks are that monocrystalline panels are pretty expensive and only perform efficiently in warm environments. They are not as efficient if they do not get direct light, thus not the best for cold regions.

The panels demand high maintenance and protection from dirt and snow. Otherwise, they are prone to circuit breakdown.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline or multi-crystalline solar panels are most people’s go-to choices due to their affordability. They are the best solar panels for anyone with a budget constraint.

Although their efficiency does not match the monocrystalline panels, they are better than thin-film solar panels.

The most noticeable feature of the polycrystalline panels is the grain texture. They feature a square shape and a mosaic surface due to the numerous crystals used.

Multicrystalline solar panels are made of molten silicon, which is poured into a cast rather than shaped into a crystal. This explains their low production cost, hence the panels’ affordability.

Other than low cost, polycrystalline panels are super durable. If well-maintained, the panel can serve you for up to 25 years. Moreover, the panels are more environmentally friendly than their counterparts. The manufacturers have done a great job of getting rid of soldering and lead.

The main drawback of these panels is lower efficiency. The multiple crystals make it hard for electrons to flow, hindering their efficiency from exceeding 17%. This makes them a wrong choice if you need solar panels for businesses.

Furthermore, multi-crystalline panels are a bit fragile. They can easily break if hit by a heavy object during strong winds.

Thin Film Solar Panels

When most individuals think of solar panels, the first thing that comes to their mind is crystalline. You can now shift from the large glass-covered panels to the easy-to-attach thin-film panels.

For starters, thin-film panels are super affordable compared to crystalline panels due to their simple module and installation process. Therefore, you can no longer use financial constraints as a reason for not shifting to solar energy.

The other feature that makes thin-film solar panels stand out is portability. You can carry your panel around as a non-conventional source of energy for hot water showers and shavers.

Roll the solar panel like a sleeping bag for easy transportation. This makes these panels ideal for hiking and camping lovers.

Thin-film panels perform perfectly even in low light. If you live in shaded areas or low climate regions, this is the perfect solar panel for you.

The thinness of these panels does not allow them to pick much energy. Consequently, they are not the most efficient choice. Nonetheless, that should not be an issue if you intend to power small items like batteries and shavers.

Which Is the Best among the Different Types of Solar Panels?

A lot comes into play when identifying the best solar panel options for your home or business. What works best for your friend, neighbor or colleague might not work for you. Consider these aspects in your selection.

The cost

Price is critical when shopping for any product, and this case is no exception. As much as you want to create a sustainable environment, you should not break the bank for it.

Make sure you can comfortably afford to pay for the solar panel and its installation. Compare the prices from different brands, and then select one with the most reasonable price.

Energy Efficiency

The primary reason for investing in solar panels is to cut down on energy bills. This is only achievable with the most energy-efficient panel. Compare the efficiency of different options before settling on one without letting the urge to save money push you to compromise on this.

Intended Use

How you intend to use your solar panel will determine the suitable energy efficiency level. For instance, if you are looking to power your business premise, it will help if you select one with the highest efficiency level — the crystalline panels.

Nonetheless, if you want a solar panel to power small items, the thin film works perfectly.

Make Your Space More Sustainable With Solar Panels

Whether you are looking for solar panels for homes or businesses, this guide on types of solar panels will help you make the best purchase decision. You can now create a sustainable, healthy, and efficient environment for your loved ones.

Moreover, solar panels can help grow your business as more consumers love being associated with such companies.

Stay informed and up to date with the trends by reading more of our articles.


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