Solar energy is among the most abundant and commonly used renewable energy sources in the world. It’s a clean energy source that can be tapped by using solar panels. In the earlier years, solar power was only utilised in a commercial setting. The expensive costs of installing the systems and the limited option were among the few reasons why only business could afford to invest in such as energy source.
Fast forward to modern day, solar power has amassed great demand and support from residential customers. If you’re among the many who want to switch to solar energy, it would be best to learn more about the main types of solar panels. This way you get to select an option that would cater to your needs.
Most Common Types of Solar Panels
The effectiveness of a photovoltaic technology highly depends on its ability to convert sunlight into a usable form of energy. Over the years, manufacturers were able to develop various types of solar energy panels. Below are the four main types of solar panels you can find in the market today.
Concentrated PV Cells
The concentrated PV cell or CPV was introduced back in 1970s but has only gained more traction in the recent years. The CPV system is mostly used in a residential setting when installed on roofs. But they can also be utilised for large commercial projects located in remote sites. It offers a number of advantages including high energy efficiency rate, zero thermal mass and scalability. However, for it to be efficient, you need to install it in a spacious area that’s completely exposed to the sun.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Some of the key distinguishing characteristics of the polycrystalline panel is its rectangular shape, speckled appearance and blue colour. The panels are made from melted silicone crystals so they’re cheaper and more eco-friendly compared to the monocrystalline solar panel. However, because the material isn’t made from pure silicone, it has a relatively shorter lifespan. Also, it is not as energy efficient and heat tolerant compared to the monocrystalline type.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Mono-SI or monocrystalline solar panels are made from 100 percent single crystal silicone. It is best distinguished by its dark color and rounded edges. Unlike the polycrystalline type, it’s has a higher energy efficient rate. Also, it has the highest heat resistance and durability. This ensures that you get to use them for a very long time. The only disadvantage of using this type of solar panel is its expensive cost. You may need to shell out a large sum of money for the panels and the installation. But, if you’re looking for an excellent long-term investment, it’s definitely the perfect choice.
Thin Film Solar Panels
If you are keen on using the least expensive option, you can try the thin-film solar cells (TFSC). Among all the types of solar panels, the TFSC is the easiest to make. As a result, they’re cheaper alternatives especially if you’re new to solar energy and you’re still considering it as your power source. Even with its cheap price, this type of panel is made more flexible and heat resistant, so it offers good value for your money. The only cons to using it are its large size and short lifespan and product warranty.
How do you choose the best type of solar power panel?
Picking a solar power system is a great investment regardless if you need it for a house or a commercial property. When you consider any of the options above, it’s crucial that you weigh in on some factors. Focus on these main deciding factors:
- Solar panel energy efficiency – It should be no less than 16 percent, the industry standard.
- Cost–effectiveness of the product – Check the product’s energy efficiency against its pricing. Does the pricing work for you? Is it worth your money? Which one makes more financial sense to you? You can compare the costs by asking for a free solar panel quote.
- The product warranty – The majority of manufacturers of solar panels provide offer warranty anywhere between 10 to 25 years.
- Your peak power consumption – Each type of panel can produce a maximum amount of energy. Hence, when you shop for a solar panel, make sure to compute for your household or building’s average peak power consumption.
How installation of solar panels works
Once you know which type of solar power panel you should use, you need to figure out how you want to install the system. Would you need it to be grid connected? The grid connected solar system is suitable if your annual energy consumption amounts to around 2600 to 3000kWh. It includes includes an inverter, Wi-Fi monitoring system and mounting frames.
If your average daily energy consumption amounts up to 2kWh or if you have a small property, you can opt for a off grid power system. Besides the PV panels, the system includes an inverter, back-up generator, battery bank and solar controller.
Are you looking to use your solar panels for water heating? You can opt for the solar water heating system. The sunsaver collector is connected to a system which includes a temperature sensor, pump, digital controller and water cylinder.
Here if you need assistance for your solar panel system
If you wish to switch to solar energy for a cleaner and greener power source for your home or commercial property, our experts can help. Esolar.co.nz can assist you regardless of what type of panel you choose or how you intend to use them. Contact us today for more information!