Different Types of Solar Panels

The main types of solar panels are used for residential and commercial applications

The three types we will go over today:

  1. Monocrystalline silicon solar panels
  2. Polycrystalline silicon solar panels
  3. Thin film solar panels

Monocrystalline silicon solar panels are made from monocrystalline silicon, or single-crystal silicon. This is silicon that is lab created in enormous single crystals, and slices from the crystal are used to create the solar panels. This leads to enormously high conductivity and incredible purity, and therefore a high rate of efficiency at converting sunlight into electricity. Monocrystalline silicon solar panels have the highest efficiency of solar panels commercially available, and they also have the highest price point.

Chose monocrystalline silicon if you have high electricity use at your Sacramento, CA home, or if you have the budget to be able to afford the best. These solar panels are not in the price range of everyone, but if you can afford them, they will quickly pay for themselves in terms of electricity efficiency. Depending on how much electricity you use, you may also be able to save by buying fewer monocrystalline silicon solar panels rather than more of the less efficient kinds of solar panels.

Polycrystalline silicon solar panels are the most popular kind of solar panels, and they are made up of many smaller silicon crystals. The solar panels you see made up of many perfectly square cells are usually polycrystalline silicon. These solar panels have lower efficiency than monocrystalline silicon, so they produce less electricity per hour of direct sunlight.

They are also many times cheaper, as the manufacturing process is easier, quicker, cheaper, and produces less waste. Polycrystalline silicon solar panels do not tolerate heat quite as well as monocrystalline silicon solar panels, which means that in extremely hot areas they often have shorter lifespans. However, in temperate Sacramento, CA, this is really not an issue.

Thin film solar panels are a special type of polycrystalline silicon or amorphous silicon solar panels. As the name suggests, they are constructed to be thin and flexible, which makes them incredibly versatile. Thin film solar panels can be installed on rooftops without having to take out the roofing underneath, and they have even been used on the floors of rooftop gardens when the roof is flat.

It is possible to walk carefully on thin film solar panels without damaging them, though of course it is advisable to avoid this and treat them with utmost care, as the valuable pieces of equipment they are. Thin film tends to be the cheapest option, and as an added bonus it is not very heat sensitive. Give us a call today and let us help you choose the best solar panels for your needs!