Types of Solar Panels

Millions of Americans are now taking advantage of the tax credits offered by the Federal government if they purchase solar panels.

Yet, many people might assume that all solar panels function in the same a, however, this is not true. And if you are considering getting solar panels for your home, it may interest you to know what your options are in terms of bang for your buck.

Well, in this short guide we’ll run you through the different types of solar panels, and whether they are relevant for residential use. By the end of reading this, you should have a clear idea of which panels you’ll want to get for your home.

Three Types of Solar Panels

There are currently three main solar panel types on the market in terms of what they are made from. Each has its solar panel benefits and drawbacks.

We’ll also add in a fourth solar panel option which is derived from two of the three types we’ll now run through.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

If you’ve noticed solar panels with black cells, it’s going to be the monocrystalline type. The panels look black due to the way the sunlight interacts with the silicon crystal inside the panels.

The rear of the panel may appear silver or even white. Since they use pure silicon, these solar panel types are super-efficient space-wise, and last the longest out of all the solar panel types. However, due to a lot of wastage in the use of silicon to make these panels, they are expensive.

We should also mention passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) panels. These are new solar technology that uses the monocrystalline design, but enhance it in some clever ways.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline panels use silicon fragments, and so are not made with pure silicon crystals. When the sunlight hits these panels, you might notice a blue hue radiant from them.

The back sheets on these panels are similar to monocrystalline panels: silver or white. Since manufacturers use silicon fragments, these panels are much cheaper than monocrystalline ones. However, these panels are not so efficient in high-temperature environments.

Thin Film Solar Panels

As indicated in the name, these panels are slimmer and have a lower profile than the others we have discussed. This is due to the panel’s cells being hundreds of times thinner than the crystalline wafer versions.

The advantage of using these types of panels is they take up less space, especially if they don’t have a frame or backing. Yet, they are less efficient than the crystalline versions.

Bifacial Solar Panels

These are solar panels that absorb the sun’s rays on both sides of the panel. Therefore, their positioning is going to be different from traditional one-sided panels, and thus, easy to notice.

Bifacial solar panels tend to be monocrystalline. Although there are polycrystalline versions available.

If you’re on the lookout for bifacial panels, or any that we have mentioned, we recommend Blue Raven Solar. Here are the areas they serve.

The Different Solar Panel Types

New and more efficient solar technology will keep appearing in the coming years. However, we have explained the fundamental types of solar panels on the market today.

We appreciate you reading through this piece. If you find the info helpful, why not check out our website for more informative reads?

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