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The Main Types of Solar Panels Explained
Forty-three percent of all new electric capacity came from solar power in 2020. When it’s time to install solar panels, you need to research which solar panels will give you the most energy savings for your region. Each type of panel is different and you need to consider that when you make your choice.
What are the main types of solar panels? What goes into solar panel technology? Read on to learn about the main types of solar panels for your home!
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Different silicon crystal fragments get melted down to make these solar panels. The molten silicon is then poured into a square or rectangular mold. There is very little waste from this process.
The lack of waste makes this type of solar panel more affordable than its counterparts. The affordability allows you to have more panels on your home. This makes up for the lower efficiency.
This same process creates a less efficient solar cell. Energy conversion is lower since the purity of the silicon is lower. They also have a lower heat tolerance than other types of panels.
These types of solar panels get made from one silicon crystal which gets cut into several wafers. Made from pure silicone, these panels have a distinctive black color. Their purity makes them space-efficient and very long-lasting.
A single solar cell can waste more than fifty percent of the crystal. This brings the price of these panels up. But due to their higher efficiency, you will need less of them.
There is an improved version of this panel known as PERC solar panel. Light gets reflected back into the cell, increasing the light that gets absorbed by the panel. It has a smaller footprint and can use the same equipment as other panels.
Types of Solar Panels: Thin-Film Solar Panels
Thin-film solar panels are a more recent type of solar panel. They are gaining in popularity for use in homes. Layers of semiconductor materials make up these cells.
Then they get rolled out like a film on a flat surface. Thin-film panels tend to wear out faster than other panels. They come with shorter warranty periods because of this.
They are less efficient than other types of panels and need more space. Thin-film solar cells are the type used to make roof shingles, allowing you to cover your whole roof. You might find solar incentives available for these types of panels.
Thin-film panels are not made from crystals, so they come from a wider variety of materials. Some types come with a glass layer to help protect them. They get rolled out on plastic, glass, or metal frames.
When looking for solar savings, a thin film might be your best bet. Thin-film panels are cheaper and more flexible than other panels. This gives you more options for your home.
Types of Solar Panels
These three types of solar panels are your only solar panel options, but they each have their place. Do your research into your sun score to know which panel is best for you. Going green can save you money in the long run.
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