What Are the Different Types of Solar Panels That Exist Today?


While only six percent of homeowners in the U.S. have solar panels installed, the number is growing daily. Part of this growth is due to increased energy costs.

Another factor helping to increase the adoption of solar power is the desire for a sustainable, clean, “green” source of energy.

Regardless of what motivates you to consider solar panels, it’s a smart investment.

Before diving in, though, it’s important to learn about the different types of solar panels available. Keep reading to learn what these are.

Solar Roof Shingles

One of the newest solar panel options offered by a solar company near you is solar roof shingles. These provide a modern solution to a beautiful roof that looks just like traditional architectural asphalt shingle roofs.

While this is true, the added benefit is that they provide you with a solar energy system.

Modern solar shingles are just as durable as traditional asphalt shingles. They also provide the same level of protection for your home.

Each shingle can produce between 13 and 67 watts of solar power. They are also designed to withstand adverse weather conditions.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

This is the most popular solar panel option used for rooftop systems.

Monocrystalline silicon solar cells are manufactured using the Czochralski method. With this, a “seed” crystal of silicon is put into a molten vat of silicone. It is then heated to an extreme temperature.

The process creates a single silicon crystal, which is an ingot. After that, it is sliced into wafers, which are used for solar modules.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

These panels are easy to identify because the angles aren’t cut, and the surface appears blue and speckled. They are created by melting raw silicon, which is a cheaper and faster process than the one used for monocrystalline panels.

The panels are not as expensive with this manufacturing process, but they also aren’t as efficient. This type of panel also has a shorter lifespan than others.

Thin Film Solar Panels

Another new type of solar panel is thin-film panels. These aren’t used as often for homes; however, they are growing in popularity.

Thin-film panels have gotten their name from how they are produced. With this, layers of semiconductor materials, including copper, selenide, cadmium telluride, gallium, and silicone, are rolled out as a film on a flat surface.

These panels aren’t as efficient as crystalline panels and require more roof space. They also tend to deteriorate faster, which means they don’t usually come with long warranties.

Choosing the Right Types of Solar Panels for Your Home

Knowing your options is a must when you are ready to choose from the types of solar panels available. Each of the options above has pros and cons, so it is best to consider your needs and budget to choose the best one.

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