What’s Inside This Article?
For the past decade, solar energy systems in the US grew by 42%. One of the largest spikes in installations was between 2019 and 2020, making people curious about which solar panel is the best as there are different type of panels available in the market.
Since 2013, solar panel cost has dropped by about 66%! The solar tax credits have been another great incentive. Add in better lifetimes and efficiencies and there’s never been a better time to get solar.
How can you benefit? Learning about every type of solar panels available can help.
Keep reading to find out which solar panel installation is best for your home!
Every Type of Solar Panels For Your Home
There are many types of solar panels, but not all are available for residential use. Some are thermal collectors, and others photovoltaic. Thermal panels have specific industrial or large-scale uses that aren’t appropriate for homes.
Even then, the most bleeding-edge tech isn’t ready for mass production.
Which Solar Panel is the Best?
1Monocrystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells
Silicon has been the backbone of solar photovoltaic cells since about 1950. As a semiconductor, its energy band gap is perfect for its role in solar as well as in PCBs for electronics.
Silicone, really, is the backbone of our whole society, not only solar.
To use it in a monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic cell, a manufacturer must grow a single metallic silicon crystal. Once they have that, they slice it into very fine sheets called wafers.
Since silicon is grown mostly like a cylinder, the edges also get squared off to align to a grid in the panel. The monocrystalline PV solar cell gets an intact wafer installed in it for maximum efficiency ratings.
The highest ratings are near 23%.
2Polycrystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells
Polycrystalline silicon PV cells are made with the leftovers of the process that creates the monocrystalline PV cells. It isn’t as efficient as a single coherent wafer, but it’s still used in home systems with high-efficiency ratings.
Instead of a blue or black solid look, polycrystalline PV cells look almost like a camo pattern. Since these cells are a balance between price and efficiency, they make up the majority of the market. They still reach efficiencies between 15%-20%.
3Thin Film Photovoltaic Cells
Thin Film cells or TFCs are made from different materials to their silicon cousins. The most common type uses CdTe or cadmium telluride. As the name suggests, it’s a thin film form factor and quite flexible.
Amorphous silicon (basically silicon glass), or CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) can also create TFCs. CIGS is the same compound found in many LEDs since they’re almost the same technology in reverse.
Despite low efficiencies, the flexibility and versatility of TFCs make them a go-to for portable solar systems. Some homes do use them, but it comes at immensely higher prices. Most only have efficiency ratings in the low 10-14% range.
Whichever type of solar panels you’re interested in, it’s best to talk with professionals like https://blueravensolar.com/florida/ that can give certified, expert advice.
4The Future of PV Cells
In the future, Perovskite cells will allow us to have transparent cells. This means that windows and even phone screens will start producing enough electricity to keep our devices and homes topped up.
The rollout of the earliest residential perovskite cell technologies could be seen as early as 2023, but time will tell. The efficiency of perovskite is reaching near 30%, it’s expected that efficiency could go as high as the 50%+ range.
5A Sunny Future With Solar Power
Did you learn about the type of solar panels you’ll be considering for your solar roof project? Don’t forget to consider mounting brackets, inverter systems, and whether you’ll use grid power, generator, or battery backups, too.
For more information on that and more, keep browsing our articles!