Solar panels are 80% cheaper to manufacture now than they were in the year 2000. Part of this cost reduction is because new types of solar panels have emerged in recent years.
Knowing about the different types of residential solar panels the solar industry has to offer will help you make the right decision for your home. The best solar panels for one function may not be the right ones for a different purpose.
Any smart homeowner does adequate research before purchasing a solar system for their home. Start your research here with this handy guide. Here, we discuss the different types of solar panels that exist today. Read on!
The Big Three of Solar Composition Types
One of the major factors to take into consideration about solar panels is the composition of the solar wafers themselves. Most panels are made from silicon as this element is conducive to creating electricity from sunlight.
What differs between monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels is the consistency of their silicon building blocks. Let’s examine each of these types of solar panels more closely.
Monocrystalline Types of Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single silicon wafer. Due to this, they are more expensive to produce and more efficient. These panels have efficiency levels of right around 24%.
Polycrystalline Types of Solar Panels
Polycrystalline types of solar panels are molded from particulate silicon.
Manufacturers mold silicon fragments together to create a wafer. They are cheaper to produce and also less efficient. They have about a 20% efficiency level.
Thin-Film Types of Solar Panels
Thin-film solar panels, as their name suggests, are slim and flexible. Some are silicon while others are made from cadmium telluride. New advances in thin-film design happen all the time.
They are the most versatile but least efficient type of solar panel. They have an under 20% efficiency level. These panels should get more effective as design improvements increase.
Solar Panel Size
In addition to the composition type of your solar panels, you also need to think about their size. There are three common size dimensions for panels, though dimensions vary by manufacturer. Experts categorize them by the number of cells they have.
60 cell panels are 39 inches wide and 66 inches long in general. 72 cell panels are also 39 inches wide, but their length extends to 77 inches. Finally, 96 cell panels are the largest, with a width of 41.5 inches and a length of 62.6 inches.
Solar Panel Features
You can also categorize different types of solar panels by their features. Some features to be aware of are bifacial panels, concentrator photovoltaic panels, organic photovoltaic panels, and microscopic panels or quantum dots.
The best way to find out about new solar panel features is to contact your local solar company. A professional solar company can answer all your questions about different types of solar panels.
Attain Your Solar Dreams
Solar energy has the potential to save you money and power your home. Knowing about the different types of solar panels is your first step in attaining your solar dreams.
Use the information in this guide to choose the best type of solar panel for your residential solar needs.
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