If you decide to jump in on going green, you’ll have a lot of solar panel options. Others make the switch more for personal reasons. Maybe you live in an energy-expensive city, and you’re hoping to pay lower electric bills soon.
For whatever reason, though, understanding the different types of solar panels might help you decide if they will work in your home. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a basic breakdown of the main kinds of panels you should consider if you’re shopping around. Let’s get into it!
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline is the most efficient panels available, making them a great choice for your home. In addition, they are composed of slices of a single crystal of silicon. This allows the electrons to move freely and produce electric current more effectively.
Additionally, they are more expensive than other panel varieties, but they require less space and offer a longer lifetime. They are also the best choice for high-temperature areas as they’re more efficient than other materials in those conditions.
Furthermore, it is also relatively impervious to shade. This makes them a great choice for those with limited roof space. Finally, power output is quite consistent, and you can expect a life expectancy of up to 40 years from them.
These types of panels are created from numerous pieces of silicon, which makes them more efficient than monocrystalline. They also offer the highest power-to-weight ratio and wide temperature ranges, providing flexibility and durability in varying climates.
Moreover, polycrystalline is best used in residential or large commercial rooftops. This makes them easier to configure in multiple orientations. While their efficiency is lower than monocrystalline, these panels are cheaper and require less maintenance.
Ultimately, their ability to withstand numerous temperature ranges makes them very reliable.
Thin-Film Solar Panels
Thin-film panels are mainly used by residential and small business owners to generate electricity with the power of the sun. They are made with a semi-flexible material that can be installed in more customized and convenient locations.
They also have several key advantages such as:
- Durability or longevity
- Thin and lightweight
- Fire-resistant material
- Economical and inexpensive
In addition, thin films also come in two main types, dubbed “Blue” and “White.” Blue type features an anti-reflection coating, while white panels demonstrate better durability and affordability.
They also have built-in tracking systems to trace the sun’s position and ensure maximum efficiency. Finally, these panels are most commonly used in areas with high solar radiation, such as near the equator and on rooftops.
These types of panels are lightweight, durable, and easy to install. This makes them the perfect choice for people who want to enjoy the benefits of solar energy without the large, bulky panels.
They are designed to be placed on flat surfaces such as:
- Roofs and domes
- Boats and ships
- Caravans and RVs
As the name suggests, they can be bent and moved around, allowing for optimal positioning on any surface. Additionally, they consist of sheets of material layered with photovoltaic cells and absorb light to generate electricity.
In addition, they are used to power gadgets, chargers, and portable devices. Finally, they are more affordable, and convenient and acquire a modern look, which makes them a popular choice for those looking to go green.
Bifacial Solar Panels
Bifacial is different from traditional solar modules. They are a more recently-developed option for home solar panels. Thanks to their two-sided design, which produces roughly 10-20% more electricity than other usual panels.
Moreover, its unique design allows them to absorb sunlight on both its front and rear surfaces. However, they are more expensive than others and require more maintenance, but the efficiency is worth it.
These are more complex and push for higher solar panel installation costs but they can be beneficial in the long run. After all, they provide great value and improved energy return if installed in an area with lots of direct light and some reflection.
Hybrid solar cells are a recent development that delivers a higher energy yield than standard silicon cells. They contain a combination of amorphous and silicon thin-film photovoltaic cells.
These are ideal for those who wish to achieve high-energy efficiency with a single-panel setup and have limited roof space. Additionally, they are more durable than standard cells. Plus, they have a self-cleaning system that ensures advantageous air circulation, increasing their lifespan.
Ultimately, hybrid panels come with 5 to 10-year warranties, and most require little to no maintenance.
Solar shingles often look like regular asphalt shingles and are integrated seamlessly into the roofing structure. They are lightweight and do not require any additional mounting hardware, making them easy to install.
Unlike traditional panels, they are made up of photovoltaic cells instead of large glass panels. Additionally, they are more efficient at capturing sunlight and providing energy due to their curved shape, and are perfect for home use as they are:
- Relatively cheap
- Require little to no maintenance
- Reduces a home’s energy bill
However, they may be too expensive for buildings with large space requirements. In the end, it is still up to the homeowner to decide which kind of panel is best for them.
Solar Panel Prices
The prices of these panels vary widely depending on the type and quality, but they generally cost between $3.50 to $3.90 per watt. Other costs to consider include:
- Installation charges
- Maintenance fees
Nevertheless, buying solar panels can significantly reduce or even eliminate electricity bills, making them an excellent investment for households and businesses. Check out Blue Raven Solar to learn more about how you can lower your utility bills through solar panels!
A Guide to the Main Types of Solar Panels
Solar energy is a fantastic power source that can help reduce your carbon footprint and your electricity bills. There are different types of solar panels available to choose from, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film, concentrator, and hybrid styles.
Take the time to research and speak with a professional to determine which option is best for your home. So, what are you waiting for? Start saving and contributing to a greener environment today!
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