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The Main Types of Solar Panels: A Basic Guide


Are you considering installing solar panels on your roof?

Solar panels allow your home to get electricity from the sun. Not only will this reduce your energy bills, but it'll also help the environment. The sun is a clean form of energy, meaning it doesn't depend on fossil fuels or produce greenhouse gases. 

Fossil fuels are a finite resource, so switching to solar energy can truly help save the planet. If you plan to use solar panels, one of the first things you need to consider the different types of solar panels. 

You can read below to find out the different options you have for your home. 

Monocrystalline Solar Panels 

Monocrystalline solar panels derive their name from how they're made. Each solar cell contains a silicon wafer that's made of one crystal of silicon. 

Because monocrystalline solar panels are made from pure silicon, they tend to be more energy-efficient than other solar panels. However, monocrystalline solar panels tend to cost than other options out there. 

But, you only need to worry about the price of installation when considering solar panel cost. Solar panels are very easy to maintain, and if properly taken care of, they can last 25 to 30 years. 

So while monocrystalline solar panels may be more expensive up front, their high level of energy efficiency may make them more affordable in the long run. 

Polycrystalline Solar Panels 

Polycrystalline solar panels are new to the solar scene, but they're quickly rising in popularity among homeowners. These solar panels are made from silicon crystal fragments that are melted together. 

The primary benefit of polycrystalline solar panels is that they're more affordable than monocrystalline solar panels. However, they're not as efficient. New solar technology advancements are being made every day, and soon, polycrystalline solar panels may catch up in energy efficiency. 

Thin-Film Solar Panels 

While monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are strictly made from silicon, thin-film solar panels are made from a variety of materials. The most common material used to make thin-film solar panels is cadmium telluride (CdTe). 

Thin-film solar panels aren't as energy-efficient as crystalline solar panels, and they tend to require more roof space. However, they're inexpensive and can be manufactured into single shingles. If you don't like the aesthetic of large solar panels sticking out of your roof, thin-film solar panels are a great alternative. 

Solar Roof Shingles 

Solar roof shingles are the newest type of solar panel. If you're looking for solar panels that won't affect the aesthetic of your home, this is your best option. 

These solar panels are made to mimic the look of architectural shingles. They're just as durable as regular asphalt shingles, and they offer superior home protection. 

However, solar roof shingles are the most expensive option out there. However, you can speak to solar installation companies about rebates to help cut down on the costs. 

Types of Solar Panels: Which is Right for You? 

Now that you know about the different types of solar panels, it's time to decide which one is right for you. As you can see, there are plenty of excellent options out there. Just realize that pricing differs depending on where you live.  For example the cost of solar panels in Hawaii will be higher because of shipping. 

Once you decide on the solar panels you want, the next step is to hire a solar contractor. You can also check back in with us to discover more ways to upgrade your home.