Around three percent of America’s electricity comes from solar power. Thanks to its rising popularity, current estimates state one in seven homes will have rooftop solar panels systems by 2030. So if you’ve decided to install solar panels at your home, you’re far from alone.
However, not all solar panels are created equally. These panels can be made from different materials, each with its own unique set of pros and cons.
What are the different types of solar panels that exist today? Continue reading to find out.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline is the best solar panel in terms of space efficiency and longevity. However, they come at a significantly higher price tag than alternative options.
These residential solar panels are cut from a single piece of pure crystal silicon. This pure silicon is then assembled into columns and rows before being covered by glass and framed together. Because of the way they’re crafted, monocrystalline panels are also known as single-crystal panels.
You can quickly identify single-crystal panels because of their dark black color. This color occurs because of the high purity levels of silicon used.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
To create polycrystalline solar panels, fragments of silicon crystals are melted together. Then, they’re cut into wafers and assembled into rows and columns. These columns are covered by glass and then framed together.
In many ways, polycrystalline solar panels are similar to monocrystalline configurations. However, these panels have lower silicon purity levels. This makes them more affordable but also less efficient at making the most of space and energy conversion.
Polycrystalline solar panels also have a significantly lower heat tolerance. Unfortunately, this means they aren’t a good choice for really hot climates like the American southwest. However, working with a reliable solar company like Blue Raven Solar LLC can help ensure you choose the best option for your specific climate and needs.
Thin-film Solar Panels
Thin-film solar panels are, by far, the most affordable option available. However, this affordability comes at a cost since this option is also much less efficient than silicon options.
Thin-film solar panels are easily identifiable because they’re thin enough to be flexible and don’t require a frame. Thanks to this, these films are much lighter and easier to install.
These films also come in additional configurations that silicon-based options don’t. They can even be customized to your specific needs, making them the most flexible solar panel option in terms of installation.
Manufacturers can create thin-film solar panels from a variety of materials. The most common options include copper indium gallium selenide, amorphous silicon, and cadmium telluride.
More Questions About the Different Types of Solar Panels?
Today, the most common types of solar panels are Monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels. Each option has its unique benefits and downsides.
If you still have questions about the different types of solar panels, check out our other blogs. You’ll find articles on solar panels and related topics to help you learn more on the subject so you can make an informed purchasing decision.