What Are The Different Types Of Solar Panels?
There are four main types of solar panels, but there are some further variations of each type. We will discuss each main type of solar panel below:
Monocrystalline solar panels
Monocrystalline panels are also called single-crystal panels and are made from one silicon crystal that is cut into wafers. The use of a single silicon crystal in these panels makes them very space efficient and durable. This is why these panels last the longest.
Unfortunately, these are one of the most expensive types of solar panels around, as lots of silicon is wasted during the production process.
Polycrystalline solar panels
Polycrystalline panels are made from many small silicon crystals, which reduces wastage and makes them more affordable. Unfortunately, this causes them to be less efficient at producing electricity and also causes them to take up more space.
Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) Panels
PERC panels are similar to monocrystalline solar cells but offer some improvements. These panels reflect light back into the cell, which increases the amount of solar energy that is being absorbed. They also allow larger wavelengths of light to be reflected and don’t waste any energy by allowing the back sheet of the panel to heat up.
They are slightly more expensive than standard monocrystalline panels, but are way more efficient, and can therefore produce more electricity.
Thin-film solar panels
Thin-film solar panels are made up of fine layers that are flexible. You don’t need a backing for every one of these panels, which makes them very light and easy to install. These factors make these panels cheaper than silicon panels, and this also means they are cheaper to install.
While panels made from silicon come in standard sizes, you can get thin-film panels in any size you want to suit your needs. Unfortunately, while thin-film panels might be cheap, they are also less efficient than silicon panels.