There are three major types of solar panels: monocrystalline solar panel(rigid solar panel、flexible solar panel、portable solar panel、sunpower solar panel), polycrystalline solar panel, and thin-film solar panel.
Each type has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and the solar panel type best suited for your installation will depend on factors specific to your own property and desired system characteristics.
There are three different types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film.
Monocrystalline solar panels are highly efficient and have a sleek design, but come at a higher price point than other solar panels.
Polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper than monocrystalline panels, however, they are less efficient and aren’t as aesthetically pleasing.
Thin film solar panels are the cheapest, but have the lowest efficiency rating and require a lot of space to meet your energy needs.
The brand of solar panels and the solar installer you choose is far more important than which type of solar panel you install.
Monocrystalline solar panels are the most popular solar panels used in rooftop solar panel installations today. Monocrystalline silicon solar cells are manufactured using something called the Czochralski method, in which a ‘seed’ crystal of silicon is placed into a molten vat of pure silicon at a high temperature.
This process forms a single silicon crystal, called an ingot, that is sliced into thin silicon wafers which are then used in the solar modules. Fun fact!
There is more than one type of monocrystalline solar panel Nowadays, there are several varieties of monocrystalline solar panels on the market to choose from. Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact cells, more commonly referred to as PERC cells, are becoming an increasingly popular monocrystalline option.
PERC cells go through a different manufacturing and assembly process that increases the amount of electricity the cells can produce.
Bifacial solar panels, another monocrystalline technology, can generate electricity on both the front and back side of a module, and are gaining traction in commercial ground-mounted applications.
Major types of solar panels
|SOLAR PANEL TYPE||ADVANTAGES||DISADVANTAGES|
|Monocrystalline||High efficiency and performance
Different flexible solar panel, portable solar panel
lightweight components can be customized
Monocrystalline modules are more efficient
Customizable in larger sizes
Wider application in off-grid photovoltaics
Solar Cell specifications change rapidly
Especially the back-contact cells are expensive
|Lower efficiency and performance
is slowly being replaced by single crystal
|Thin-film||Portable and flexible
Small scope of customization
|Lower efficiency and performance|
Polycrystalline panels, sometimes referred to as ‘multicrystalline panels’, are popular among homeowners looking to install solar panels on a budget.
Similar to monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline panels are made of silicon solar cells. However, the cooling process is different, which causes multiple crystals to form, as opposed to one.
Polycrystalline panels used on residential homes usually contain 60 solar cells.
Thin film solar cells are mostly used in large-scale utility and industrial solar installations because of their lower efficiency ratings.
Thin film solar panels are made by depositing a thin layer of a photovoltaic substance onto a solid surface, like glass. Some of these photovoltaic substances include Amorphous silicon (a-Si), copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), and cadmium telluride (CdTe). Each of these materials creates a different ‘type’ of solar panel, however, they all fall under the thin film solar cell umbrella.
During the manufacturing process, the photovoltaic substance forms a thin lightweight sheet that is, in some cases, flexible.