Are you thinking about installing solar panels? If so, you’re likely wondering what type of solar panel is best for your home. There are a few different types of solar panels on the market today, and each has its unique set of benefits. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the most common types of solar panels so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
1. Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient type of solar panel. They are made from a single crystal of silicon and have the highest solar panel efficiency. They are also the most expensive type of solar panel.
- The highest efficiency of any solar panel
- Made from a single crystal of silicon
- The most expensive type of solar panel
2. Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline solar panels are less efficient than monocrystalline solar panels but are also less expensive. They are made from multiple silicon crystals and have a lower efficiency than monocrystalline solar panels.
- Less expensive than monocrystalline solar panels
- Made from multiple crystals of silicon
- Lower efficiency than monocrystalline solar panels
3. Thin Film Solar Panels
Thin film solar panels are the least efficient type of solar panel. They are made from a thin layer of semiconductor material. They are also the least expensive type of solar panel.
- Least expensive type of solar panel
- Made from a thin layer of semiconductor material
- The least efficient type of solar panel
4. Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) Panels
PERC panels have an extra layer of silicon placed on the back solar cell. This increases the number of photons that are absorbed and converted into electricity. The result is a higher efficiency panel, which produces more power per square meter than a standard solar panel.
PERC panels typically have between 20-25% efficiency, making them some of the most efficient panels on the market. They are also less likely to suffer from “mismatch loss,” where parts of the panel are not operating at their optimal power output.
- Higher efficiency
- Less likely to suffer from “mismatch loss.”
- More expensive than standard panels
5. Solar Panel Types by Efficiency
Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient type of solar panel, with an average efficiency rate of 15-20%. This is because they’re made out of a single silicon crystal, allowing them to capture sunlight better.
Polycrystalline solar panels have an average efficiency rate of 13-16%. They’re made of multiple crystals of silicon, making them less effective at capturing sunlight than monocrystalline solar panels.
Thin-film solar panels have the lowest efficiency rate of all three types of solar panels, with an average efficiency of just six percent. However, they’re also the most affordable type of solar panel.
Each type of solar panel has its benefits and drawbacks that you should consider before making a purchase. Mono panels are the most efficient but also the most expensive. Poly panels are less efficient but more affordable, while thin-film panels offer a balance of efficiency and cost. Ultimately, the best type of solar panel for you will depend on your specific needs and budget.