The Best Types of Solar Panels: A Homeowner’s Guide


Are you thinking of buying solar panels for your home? Read this guide first.

Making the change from being fully on the power grid to going solar is something that’ll pay off for years to come. Not only will it gradually lower your bills until you break even and eventually save money on power, but you’ll also be doing your part to lower your own carbon footprint and make the world a better and safer place to live.

While solar energy can be beneficial, it can also be overwhelming to choose an option. In this post, we’re going to look at different types of solar panels and help you figure out which one is best for your situation.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Of the two main types of solar panels, monocrystalline is the more efficient type because they contain more silicon, making it easier for electrons to flow through the cell. Because of this, they require less space to reach a certain power capacity, which gives them a higher power rating.

Of course, with more power and efficiency comes a higher price tag. That being said, because they require less space, you need fewer solar cells to reach a higher level of output.

Monocrystalline panels are the most popular not only because of their efficiency but also because they have a cleaner look. Those worried about the aesthetics of their solar panel would likely rather go with monocrystalline.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels were developed before monocrystalline panels, but the production process is very similar. The main difference is that the seed crystal isn’t removed in the process and the vat of silicon is left to cool in the mold. When it cools, multiple crystals form, hence the name.

There are two main reasons why monocrystalline panels are more popular, as discussed above. The production process leaves the polycrystalline cells with a “marbled” blue appearance that some consider being a bit of an eyesore.

They’re also less efficient, but that means that they come at a cheaper price point. Those looking to adopt solar power on a budget have a great option in polycrystalline solar panels.

Thin Film Solar Panels

Thin film solar panels are a completely different kind of thing, usually used on large-scale projects because it requires a lot of roof space to make a big difference. They’re cheaper and more flexible, but they tend to degrade quicker than crystalline panels and they’re far less efficient.

One benefit of thin film is that they can be turned into shingles, giving them a more natural, roof-like appearance.

Portable Solar Panels

If you’re interested in going solar, but you don’t know if you can afford it, this price breakdown byBlue Raven is a great resource. One great option to start with is a portable solar panel. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to install solar cells on your roof, you can purchase one of these for a few hundred dollars and power some of your appliances, take it on trips, etc.

That said, solar is always coming down at price and when you start to crunch the numbers, you’ll see that the long-term savings will outweigh the initial cost of the panels and installation. If you can afford the lump sum, it’s a no-brainer.

Which Types of Solar Panels Are For You?

Now that you know more about the different types of solar panels, you can make an educated decision on which is right for your home. Solar power is the future, so get a head start and install some on your roof or buy a portable panel today.

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