Both state governments and the federal government put in a lot of effort promoting solar power over the last several years with incentives and rebates. It was effective, given that the US now hosts.
Of course, those incentives and rebates don’t help the average homeowner much when it comes to actually choose the best type of solar panel for their home. For many homeowners, the fact that different types of solar panels exist is news.
If you’re feeling behind the curve on solar panel info, keep reading for a quick guide to the types of panels and picking between them.
Types of a solar panel for home
Monocrystalline Solar Panel
At the top of the pile is the monocrystalline solar panel. These panels offer the highest efficiency at around 20 percent. They also come with the highest price tag.
Chalk up the cost to the fact that the wafers in each solar cell come from a single silicon crystal. Those crystals cost more to make.
Polycrystalline Solar Panel
You can think of polycrystalline as the mid-tier option. These offer lower efficiency at around 16%, but they also cost less.
The wafers for the cells in these panels are made from multiple silicon crystals. Using multiple crystals cuts into the efficiency of each cell, but it also reduces production costs.
Also read: Custom Aluminum Radiator Pros Cons.
Thin Film Solar Panel
Thin-film panels are the bottom tier because they offer the lowest efficiency at around 11%. These panels don’t use cells, but rather spray a film of silicon or a similar photovoltaic material onto a base material. Depending on the base material, the panels may prove flexible.
Choosing the Best Type of Solar Panel for Your Home
Thin-film solar typically isn’t a candidate as a residential solar panel. The low efficiency means you can’t get enough electricity to justify using them on most homes.
There are three primary areas of consideration with monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels: cost, efficiency, and space.
Monocrystalline panels make the most sense for a home with limited space. You get more electricity from your limited real estate. The lower square footage also helps offset the higher cost.
If your home has a lot of space, you can take advantage of the lower-cost polycrystalline panels. You make up the lower efficiency with a more square footage of panels.
If in doubt, you can always ask for a recommendation from a solar installation company like Blue Raven Solar.
Solar Panels and You
The best type of solar panel for your home depends a lot on what matters most to you.
If you want the most possible electricity from your solar system, you’ll pick monocrystalline panels regardless of the available space. You can go with the best balance of performance and cost, polycrystalline panels will probably meet your needs best.
If doing good for the environment matters the most to you, both types of solar panels will help you achieve that goal.
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