Every home’s energy needs, budget, and solar goals are different. Some homeowners look for the most efficient solar panels, others look for an affordable solar panel, while still others want a solar panel with a long life. Rest assured that there is a solar panel configuration out there that is right for you. When you go out shopping for solar panels, the most popular options you will find are monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline panels, and thin-film panels. Each comes with a different set of benefits, and limitations.
Homeowners must explore the differences in the solar panels to understand which matches their typical solar needs.
Understanding the Difference
Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single silicon crystal and are a favorite among homeowners. These panels offer high efficiency and an average life ranging between 25 and 40 years.
Polycrystalline solar panels are made from different crystals of silicon, which are melted and fused. They are mid-range solar panels with lower efficiency than monocrystalline panels. They are almost never offered for residential solar applications but can have a place in commercial applications. Thin-film panels are a relatively new offering and are not used extensively in residential settings yet. Silicon, copper indium gallium selenide, and cadmium telluride solution produce a thin film that can capture solar power. They are less efficient than monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. Their lifespan averages 10 to 20 years.
Top Factors to Consider While Choosing a Solar Panel
Some solar panels can convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently than others. A monocrystalline panel can deliver an efficiency of 15-25%, polycrystalline can offer 15-17% efficiency, and thin film delivers 10-13% efficiency. So, if your house receives less sunlight, pick a solar panel that can capture the little sunlight available to it, and convert it into power.
The manufacturing process of monocrystalline panels renders them a more premium cost. On the other hand, the polycrystalline process is simpler and uses cheaper input material, so the prices are also lower. Think-film panels are the cheapest of all.
The thin-film panels have an-black performance. Monocrystalline panels appear dark black and make the roof look good. Polycrystalline solar panels are blue.
Ask an Expert
Before settling on a particular solar panel type and brand, reach out to the experts at Green Power Energy. GPE supports customers in understanding that different households have unique needs and challenges and suggests a type of panel accordingly.