Have you started thinking about making the switch to solar?
Great! Do you know what type of solar panels you want?
You’ll need to know the different types of panels that are available to you before you make your purchase.
At Steel City Solar, we care about you being an informed customer, so we’ve outlined the three types of residential solar panels in terms of efficiency, cost, aesthetics, and installation so you can buy the type of panel that works best for you and your home.
Choosing the Right Type of Solar Panels
Your choice of solar panels will come down to the space you have on your property and your budget.
There are three types of panels you can choose from: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.
These panels all vary in performance, efficiencies, and sizes, making each a possible solution for your solar panel needs. Depending on your property and the type of installation you are considering, one panel might be a better fit over the other so keep reading to find out which is the right fit for you.
1. Monocrystalline Panels
Monocrystalline panels are the highest efficiency choice. These panels can reach efficiencies between 17 – 20 percent or higher, making them a popular choice for residential homes. These panels are not only the most efficient, but they come in higher wattages as well, increasing their power capacity. Monocrystalline panels are made from single-crystal silicon allowing for higher cell efficiencies compared to other types of panels. Homeowners tend to gravitate towards this panel because the solar cells are a single, flat, black color contributing to a sleeker and less-noticeable aesthetic appeal.
When it comes to cost, monocrystalline panels are the most costly compared to the other panels, but that is because they are the most efficient and power-producing!
These panels are popular among homeowners with limited space looking to maximize efficiency. So make sure to take your property’s available space and energy goals into consideration when choosing your panel.
2. Polycrystalline Panels
Polycrystalline solar panels are very similar to monocrystalline panels because they are both made from silicon, but polycrystalline panels are made from a different composition of silicon. Monocrystalline cells are cut from a single, pure crystal of silicon, while polycrystalline cells are made from fragments of silicon crystals that are melted and molded and then cut into wafer-like shapes.
Polycrystalline solar panels have efficiencies between 15 and 17 percent, making them less efficient than monocrystalline panels. They also produce less power than monocrystalline panels having wattages ranging from 230 – 300 watts.
When it comes to cost, polycrystalline panels are less costly than monocrystalline due to the manufacturing process. Polycrystalline panels are a popular choice for homeowners looking to switch to solar on a budget!
3. Thin-Film Panels
The final type of solar panel is thin film panels. They are much different from the monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels in terms of manufacturing and materials. Thin-film panels are not made from silicone (like mono and polycrystalline panels) but instead, they are made from many different materials and because of that, the panels do not come in uniform sizes.
Thin-film panels are the least efficient and power-producing of the three panels, with efficiencies ranging between 10 and 13 percent.
Many people like thin-film panels due to their low-profile aesthetics. Thin-film solar panels are also the least costly option due to their low performance in efficiency and power. The flexibility and light-weight style of thin-film panels makes them easier to install, keeping the costs down even more.
Thin-film panels are mostly used for commercial properties because there is space for more, lower efficiency panels. In residential homes, your space is typically limited so you need to opt for higher efficiency options to meet your energy goals.
Steel City Solar is Here to Help You Choose The Right Type of Solar Panels.
When it comes to choosing the right type of panel, you’ll really want to consider your property and your energy goals by determining the type and location for solar panels.
If you have a lot of space for your panels, then you can save upfront costs and install more lower-efficiency, lower-cost panels. But, if you have limited space, you may need to go with a higher efficiency, higher-cost panel to meet your energy goals, like a monocrystalline. If you are thinking about panels for a commercial property, thin-film might be the right fit for you.
At Steel City Solar, we care about you getting what’s right for you.
Whether you’re thinking about your residential or commercial property, we are here to help you choose the right type, size, and efficiency solar panel.
So give us a call today and let the experts at Steel City Solar help you through your solar panel buying process.
If you’re ready to install, click here to get a free estimate!