Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing enterprises in the field of renewable energy sources in the country, which is for a good reason. Apart from being a trustworthy renewable energy source, solar energy has also become desirable & highly preferable in terms of its financial aspect. Moreover, consumers who want to install solar panels can claim up to 30% of the charge imposed upon installation from the government itself. In short, the demand and the importance of solar energy have increased over the years considerably in India. Solar energy has been tremendous in solving India’s power crisis.
Nonetheless, before deciding to go for a solar solution, specifically opting for solar panels, it is essential for you to do your research in this particular area because you should be well informed about the types of solar panels and their efficiency. This will undoubtedly help you to make a fair decision for yourself. We are here to assist you by providing adequate information about solar panels in this article. So, here is what exactly you need to understand about the types of solar panels, their advantages, and multiple other factors.
Key Takeaways :
- There are four major types of solar panels available – monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin film and passionate emitter & rear cell (PERC) panels.
- Monocrystalline solar panels are expensive compared to other solar panels but are highly efficient, and they come with a sleek design.
- Polycrystalline solar panels are relatively cheaper than monocrystalline ones, though they are less efficient in nature and are not aesthetically fascinating.
- Thin film solar panels are the cheapest among the four, and they also have the lowest efficiency mark. These solar panels require a lot of room to fulfill your necessities.
- PERC solar panels are also expensive and are efficient at the same time. These solar panels are best suited for limited spaces.
- The most essential thing is to choose the right brand for the installation of solar panels rather than what type of solar panel is important for installation.
The Four Major Types Of Solar Panels
Today, there are four main types of solar panels available in the marketplace: Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, Thin film and Passionate emitter & Rear cell(PERC) panels. All four of them have advantages and disadvantages, which makes them unique from each other. These solar panels differ from each other in terms of how they have been made, their performance, appearance, costs etc. Moreover, you can figure out which type of solar panel is best suited for you by studying its distinctive properties and characteristics in this article.
1)Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels, also known as single-crystal panels, are the oldest type, yet they are the most advanced ones. These panels comprise 40 – 60 monocrystalline cells that come with 72 or 96 variants of cells which are made by using the purest form of silicon that gets cut into several wafers. Monocrystalline cells seem black in colour because of the interaction that takes place between the sunlight and pure silicon. Still, there’s nothing to worry about that as there are multiple colour options available when it comes to frames and back sheets.
Now let’s have a look over the key advantages of monocrystalline solar panels :
- Monocrystalline solar panels have an excellent heat resistance quality.
- Monocrystalline cells have a longevity of up to 30 years.
- This solar panel have the highest efficiency, which is between 18 per cent to 24 per cent and a power capacity of more than 300 watts when compared to other solar panels.
- The monocrystalline cells are positioned in a pattern similar to a pyramid which results in an expanded surface area that leads to a sufficient absorption of solar energy.
2) Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline solar panels are also known as microcrystalline panels; they are composed of silicon crystals in each PV cell. The silicon crystals are melted, and then they are cut into wafers to make these. These panels usually have an efficiency between 15 to 17 per cent and similar to monocrystalline solar panels, they tend to come with 40 – 60 polycrystalline cells(with 72 or 96 variants of cells). Polycrystalline solar panel surfaces are square in shape and look like a mosaic; it has a bluish complexion because they are made of various silicon crystals. Polycrystalline solar panels are less expensive, plus their performance is not sacrificed; it has been kept intact that has uplifted their market share in the installation of a solar panel for home.
Now let’s have a look over the key advantages of polycrystalline solar panels :
- Polycrystalline solar panels are eco-friendly in nature.
- These panels have a simple production process which makes them less expensive.
- During the manufacturing process of polycrystalline solar panels, the consumption of silicon is less than other solar panels, also this makes them affordable.
Thin Film Solar Panels
Thin film solar panels belong to the solar cells of the second generation, they are 350 times thinner compared to those which use silicon wafers, and these types of panels are made of different kinds of material. For example, cadmium telluride, copper indium gallium selenide or amorphous silicon can be used to produce a thin film solar panel. They have the lowest efficiency, which is up to 11 per cent.
Now let’s have a look over the key advantages of thin film solar panels :
- Thin film solar panels are way too flexible as they can be made from a variety of materials and not just from silicon.
- These solar panels are the cheapest of all.
- It is cost-effective because of its lightweight structure, and that way, the consumers can save money on installation charges.
Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell(PERC) panels
PERC solar panels are a modified version of the traditional monocrystalline cell. The rear surface of the solar panel has a passivation layer that helps in enhancing the efficiency of the panel in numerous ways :
- Boosts the solar radiation amount that gets absorbed by reflecting the light back into the cell.
- To recombine and constrict the flow of electrons in the process, it helps in reducing the natural tendency.
- Silicon wafers can’t absorb light waves over 1180nm as they quickly pass through, ending up heating the back sheet and reducing efficiency. The passivation layer permits the larger wavelength of light to be reflected back and prevents the back sheet from getting heated up.
Till now, you must have had a fair idea about the characteristics and advantages of these different types of solar panels available in the marketplace. So, now let’s read about the other factors that will help you to determine which solar panel will be the best for you.
The ability to generate energy can be affected by the temperature of a solar panel. Temperature coefficient, that helps in measuring the solar panel’s reduction in power output for every 1°C rise over 25°C. The temperature coefficient of monocrystalline & polycrystalline falls between -0.3%/°C to -0.5%/°C where on the other side thin film solar panels are closer to -0.2%/°C. This justifies that for a hotter environment, thin film solar panels can be a fabulous option.
LID i.e. Light-Induced Degradation
Light-Induced Degradation is a loss of performance which can be commonly seen in crystalline panels during the period of first few hours of sun exposure. This often happens when the oxygen trace and sunlight reacts with each other during the manufacturing process, and because of this the silicon lattice structure gets affected.
Which Is The Best Type Of Solar Panel For Home?
Firstly, a monocrystalline solar panel for home is outstanding as it will give you a modest look with excellent durability and performance. Additionally, it will help you with your savings in your entire lifetime of the system because of its high efficiency and power capacity. Secondly, a polycrystalline solar panel for home will be the right choice if you have budget constraints.
Moreover, the price between the two, monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are narrowing down, and people are now willing to invest a slightly higher price for installing the best solar panel for home.
Also, a thin film solar panel for home is not recommended because the performance and durability of the system doesn’t match the cost of the panels, and they have the lowest efficiency as mentioned above. You have to cover your entire roof with thin film solar panels as they are inefficient.
An Important Factor To Consider Before Selecting The Right Type Of Solar Panel
Basically, the most essential thing to evaluate before choosing the type of solar panel is to opt for the right brand because a solar panel for home will be there on the roof for more than 25 years. You need an installer who is trustworthy and credible, i.e. JJ PV Solar Pvt Ltd. We are here to help you find you the best solar panel for home without waiving off on quality & integrity. Start your solar journey today with us!
- By: jjpvsolar
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