All you need to know about different types of solar panels
Depending on the appearance, cost, performance efficacy, and installation process, there are majorly three types of solar panels available in the market:
- Polycrystalline (also called as multi-crystalline)
Most commonly sold solar panels are Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline. Thin-film solar panels are rarely used, so you don’t need to worry about them for installation. The type of each panel is determined by the cells comprised in it. Each PV (photovoltaic) cell has its own specific characteristic, making each panel suitable depending on the conditions of installation.
Both Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline solar panels both are considered among the most reliable and efficient ones. Regardless of the type of panel, what is most important is the quality of the material and model you choose and how well they are installed by solar retailer Sydney. Instead of worrying about whether you should go for mono or poly, check with the best solar company in Sydney to see if the recommended panels have a good warranty and the manufacturer has a good appearance.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
- High efficiency
- Dark black colour
- Slightly more expensive than Polycrystalline
Monocrystalline solar panels are mostly used for rooftop solar installations nowadays. Mono cells can be identified easily by looking at their single flat colour. They are manufactured using the ‘Czochralski’ method where a silicon crystal ‘seed’ is placed in a vat of molten silicon. As a result, it forms a silicon crystal, also called an ingot. It is then finely cut into silicon wafers that are used as solar modules.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
- High efficiency
- Light or dark blue colour
- Occupies more roof space as compared to monocrystalline for the same output.
Polycrystalline panels or multi-crystalline panels have also become popular in homes committed to green energy but on a tight budget. Like monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline modules are made of silicon cells.
They differ only in the cooling process, where several crystals are formed instead of one. Even if polycrystalline panels require a little more ceiling space, if you have the ceiling space and the product you’re comparing is a bit cheaper than the mono option, it probably doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what you choose.
Thin-film Solar Panels
- Efficiency is less as compared to Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline.
- Occupies more space than Mono and Poly.
- Solid black in colour
Thin-film cells are commonly used in large-scale utility and industrial installations because of their low-efficiency ratings. They are made by placing a layer of photovoltaic material on a surface (such as glass). These photovoltaic materials include a-Si (amorphous silicon), SiGs (copper indium gallium selenide), and CdTe (cadmium telluride).
Thin-film panels are made by depositing a photovoltaic material on a solid surface such as glass. The photovoltaic materials used to vary and many combinations of substances have been successfully used commercially.
Monocrystalline Solar Panel: Best Performance
Monocrystalline panels have an efficiency rating of between 15 and 20 percent, making them the most efficient type of panel. The efficiency of monocrystalline solar panels makes them perfect for homes with low ceilings, which require only a few panels to produce enough electricity.
The efficiency of this type of panel is due to its manufacturing process, as they are made of a single silicon crystal. For this reason, electrons can easily flow through the photovoltaic cell, increasing the total output.
Polycrystalline Solar Panel: Average Performance
The efficiency index of polycrystalline panels ranges from 13 to 17 percent. This is because of how electrons move through a photovoltaic cell, as many cells contain silicon. There is low efficiency because electrons cannot move freely.
However, new manufacturing processes and technologies have slightly increased the efficiency of new polycrystalline panels, bridging the gap between polycrystalline panels and their monocrystalline equivalently.
Thin Film: Poor Performance
Thin films have the lowest performance when it comes to efficiency ratings. Typically, marketed thin films have a rating of 10 to 13 percent. To meet the energy needs, multiple thin films must be installed over a large space to generate the same amount of energy as the crystalline panels generate. For this reason, thin-film panels are not ideal for installation in private homes.
It is clear that monocrystalline panels are better suited for residential homes, especially those with limited space. Although they come at a high price, you will get a panel system that guarantees high performance and durability. In addition, you can save more time due to the excellent output and efficiency you can get from monocrystalline panels. However, if mono is too expensive for you, you can still avail poly-panel at an affordable price by looking out for the best solar installers near me.