I’m back and hopefully by now you have decided if solar panels are right for you! It’s time you find out everything you need to know of the 3 types (that’s right!) of solar panels.
Solar panels provide an ideal, environmentally friendly, source of energy without requiring a lot of maintenance. Solar panel technology continues to improve, and luckily for us, to become more affordable for the ordinary people who want to go green.
Generally, all solar panels are designed to produce the same amount of energy from the sun, which is half a volt per solar cell. A standard 12 volt solar cell (which produces about the same amount of energy as a car outlet) will generally have 36 cells and be about 25 inches wide by 54 inches long. Most households install multiple solar cells so they can 24 volts, 48 volts, or more of solar energy output.
Now, here comes the tricky part. You need to know the differences between the types of solar panels before actually choosing one. They differ in size, materials, and efficiency. Here’s what you need to know of the 3 types of solar panels you may select:
Monocrystalline: Monocrystalline solar panels are the most energy efficient (but expensive) solar panels available because they are, literally, made with monocrystalline (silicon) cells. The growth process for the monocrystalline is very complicated, which is a primary reason for the higher expense of monocrystalline products. In order to make the silicon cells, manufacturers produce long silicon rods, which are then cut into discs that are 0.2 or 0.4 mm thick. Those discs are then incorporated into the individual cells and wired together to create a single solar panel.
Polycrystalline: Polycrystalline (or multi-crystalline) solar panels tend to be slightly less efficient and less expensive than their monocrystalline counterparts. This is because the individual cells are grown in a large block consisting of many crystals, rather than as a single crystal rod. Single discs are produced from the large crystal block and transposed into linked solar panel cells. As a result of the multi-crystal manufacturing process, polycrystalline solar panels tend to have a distinguishing shattered glass appearance.
Amorphous: Amorphous solar panels tend to be the least expensive of all of the solar panel technologies, but they are also significantly less efficient. Instead of using crystals to construct the cells, amorphous solar panels are constructed by pouring a thin layer of silicon over a base material, such as glass or metal. Because amorphous solar panels produce less energy than polycrystalline or monocrystalline solar panels, more amorphous panels are required to produce the same amount of energy as crystal panels. However, amorphous panels can be made into long sheets that can double as roofing material for south-facing homes.
The best thing would be to talk to an expert/a qualified contractor about what type os solar panel suits you best, taking in consideration your location, budget, and lifestyle. Solar panels can make a huge difference in your energy bill – and reduce your environmental impact every day, if you pick the right ones.
For next time, I have some other tips for you on some alternative uses for solar panels, from Bob – I’m telling you, this guy never ceases to surprise me , so stay tuned!