What are the different Types of Solar Panels?

As a homeowner, you’re always considering ways to improve the value of your home. Solar Power is an excellent way to reduce the carbon footprint and use renewable energy for your electricity needs. When you start thinking about investing into solar panels, some might be unsure of which type to choose. There are number of different types of solar panels, depending on your needs.

We hope this information provided below can help you make the best decision for your family needs.

Monocrystalline Silicon (Single Silicon)



Monocrystalline solar cells are made out of silicon ingots, which are cylindrical in shape. Solar cells made of monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si), also called single-crystalline silicon (single-crystal-Si), are quite easily recognizable by an external even coloring and uniform look, indicating high-purity silicon. These are the most efficient types of solar panels.

In other words, when sunlight hits these panels, more of it turns into electricity than the other types below. As a result of their high silicon content, they’re also more expensive, but you need fewer of them. That’s why they’re ideal for roofs. You can tell if you have a monocrystalline solar panel by its square-ish cells.

Not only are Monocrystalline silicon solar panels are space-efficient, Monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency rates since they are made out of the highest-grade silicon. The efficiency rates of monocrystalline solar panels are typically 15-20%.

Polycrystalline Silicon (Multi-silicon)


Introduced to the market in 1981, These are the first solar panels based on polycrystalline silicon. Also is known as polysilicon (p-Si) and multi-crystalline silicon (mc-Si) “Poly” panels have lower silicon levels than “mono” panels. In general, that makes them less expensive to produce, but they’re also slightly less efficient. The good news is that their overall construction design can often make up for the efficiency loss, so they’re also good for roofs. You can tell poly-silicon panels by their groovy mélange of silicon woven through thin rectangular conduit wires. Thin film (amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, copper indium gallium (di)selenide). Everyone talks about “thin film” because they’re really inexpensive to make and can withstand the heat. They’re slightly inefficient, which means you’ll see these in big solar farm projects with a lot of land.

BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics)


BIPV’s can look like real roofing tiles (solar shingles are an example). They look nice and are less noticeable, but looks tend to be a bit pricier. Second, they’re a lot less efficient than conventional PV, which means you need a sunny spacious roof to make a dent in your electric bill. Finally, they may not last as long as regular panels.

Hybrid Panels – Panasonic (Sanyo) HIT


The main manufacturer of hybrid panels is Panasonic (formerly Sanyo). Their HIT module which has a thin layer of amorphous solar film behind the monocrystalline cells. The extra amorphous layer extracts even more energy from the available sunlight, particularly in low light conditions. These are the most efficient panels available, so they take up the least space on your roof.

Unless you have a very small roof and want to extract the maximum amount of energy from it, we would not recommend using the hybrid panels at the moment. Hybrid panels are a lot more expensive than mono or poly-crystalline panels, so that the increase in energy produced does not justify the extra cost of buying them. Never choose hybrid panels if there is space on your roof to fit the same amount of power with crystalline panels, otherwise you will just be paying a lot more to generate the same amount of electricity.

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