Solar energy often refers to the photovoltaic effect. It occurs when certain materials, such as semiconductors, are irradiated by the sun. This radiation converts the electrons of these materials to a higher energy state, resulting in the production of electricity.
Currently there are mostly three types of solar panels available: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. All of them have their pros and cons depending on your needs and purposes.
This is the premium type of solar panels as they are made from single crystal silicon cells. They also tend to be the most expensive option due to the manufacturing process. These panels are easily recognisable as they have a dark look and rounded edges. They are the most efficient of all crystalline panels - 15-20%. Besides, they have the longest life span and occupy less space.
These panels are made from melted raw silicon which makes them more affordable due to a simpler manufacturing process. You can distinguish them by their blue finish, sharp angles and speckled look. This is due to the fact that there are many crystals in every cell. They have lower efficiency - 15-17%. Their life span is shorter and they are not so space efficient. Though power outputs for both monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are basically the same.
These are a less expensive option as they are easier to produce and require less labor to be installed. They are made of layers of photovoltaic material, such as silicon, cadmium or copper and they are thin and flexible. Their efficiency is lower - around 11%, they require a lot of space and solar energy, their life span is shorter. That being said, they still have their place in the industry due to their resiliency and compatibility with every roof type as long as there is enough space.
All the types have their own pros and cons, You should choose taking into account the specifics of your project and your budget. If you have enough space you can save money by installing polycrystalline panels, as they are less costly. If you have little space and need to use it effectively, then monocrystalline panels will be the better choice for you.
As for thin-film panels, they are mostly used for large commercial projects because they are lightweight and require lots of space. If you still have questions we are more than happy to help. Contact us at 855-953-7326 or fill out the online form.