5 types of solar panels for your home

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

Solar panels are an efficient method to have green electricity. Although the initial investment may be a bit more consistent, you should know that, after acquirement and installation, the expenses are minimal to zero.

The only thing you need to buy afterward is a solar panel cleaning kit if you want to take care of them yourself and not call a professional company. But, overall, they are an excellent investment for your home.

Solar panel systems allow homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint, be more environmentally friendly, and save money in the long run due to lower energy bills. Moreover, houses with solar panels have a much higher selling price than those without.

According to some studies, they sell even faster because, at the moment, customers are attracted to such modern systems.

If you are thinking of equipping your home with such a system, you should know that, on the market, there are several types to choose from. Depending on the materials used for manufacturing, solar panels can be monocrystalline with a single silicon crystal in each cell, polycrystalline with several silicon crystals in the cell, Thin Film, which uses other types of materials than silicon, and hybrids. Each of these panels captures solar radiation and then transforms it into electrical current for residential or even industrial use.

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Below you can find more information about each type of the solar panel in order to properly inform yourself before deciding what is good for your home.

How the main types of solar panels work

First of all, it is important to know the principle of operation of any solar panel. Regardless of the type, the basis of all solar panels is photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells become electrically charged by absorbing solar radiation, also known as electromagnetic radiation. The direct current is transformed into an alternating current through the inverter.

Types of Solar Panels

• Monocrystalline solar panels

Monocrystalline solar panels can be recognized primarily by their dark to black color. They have a more complex manufacturing process and contain a single silicon crystal in each cell. Among all the types of solar panels that exist, the monocrystalline ones incorporate the most advanced technology, which is also reflected by the highest price. When compared to polycrystalline solar panels, monocrystalline panels are more expensive to purchase upfront, but they offer the greatest energy production and longest lifetime. They are also the most efficient in low-light conditions, making them an ideal choice for those who live in cloudy regions.

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Monocrystalline solar panels

  • Polycrystalline solar panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are the most popular and often used in residential and commercial applications due to their relative affordability. They have a lower price than monocrystalline due to the simple manufacturing process that requires fewer resources and even silicon fragments. Unlike monocrystalline panels where silicon atoms are uniformly oriented and form a single structure, the atoms of polycrystalline panels form several crystal structures. Although their price is lower, they are also slightly less efficient than monocrystalline solar panels.

Polycrystalline solar panels

  • Thin film solar panels

Unlike the first two types, thin film solar panels do not use crystalline silicon cells. Because the amount of silicon used in production is much smaller, these panels are much more environmentally friendly in terms of carbon footprint. These are made of amorphous cells that are produced by successive deposition of several layers of semiconductor material. Each layer has a thickness of the order of nanometers, reducing the weight of the panel and the cost of manufacturing materials. Thin film solar panels are extremely lightweight and very flexible, allowing them to be installed on almost any surface, even very curved ones. Due to these characteristics, this type of solar panel is becoming increasingly popular.

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Thin film solar panels

  • PERC solar panels

Made with a silicon-based composition, these solar panels are built from PERC cells, which are nothing more than conventional cells that have undergone a slight modification. PERC cells have, in addition to conventional ones, another additional layer at the back. This additional layer absorbs the sun’s rays and reflects them back into the cell. This reflection of the sun’s rays results in an increased capacity of the cell to capture light. This means that more electricity is generated using fewer solar cells than other types of panels. If you’re looking to maximize your energy production, the PERC solar panels could be a great choice.

  • Shingle-type solar panels

If you want your roof to have an aesthetically-pleasing look, then shingle-type solar panels are the way to go. The technology of these types of panels is in continuous development since its first appearance in 1960. With increased durability, these solar panels are designed to be integrated seamlessly with a home’s existing roofing material, creating a great design. Last but not least, these panels are based on monocrystalline silicon cells and can be a permanent and unlimited source of electricity.

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All types of solar panels presented above can provide you with a substantial amount of green electricity. Moreover, all of them operate silently, have low maintenance and have a lifespan of over 20 years.

Before purchasing them, you must consider aspects such as the accessible space for installation and the budget. Depending on these, you can determine exactly which type of solar panel is ideal for your needs and home.

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