Which Solar Panels Are The Best?
Solar cell technology has been evolving rapidly over the last few decades. Still, more options do not make it any easier to decide which solar panels are the best for your situation.
Here is a quick rundown on the solar panels available, plus a few of the emerging technologies promising increased gains in solar panel efficiency.
The three most common types of solar cells you are most likely to come across are:
- Monocrystalline solar panels (Mono / Mono PERC)
- Polycrystalline solar panels (Poly)
- Bifacial solar panels
Read on to learn more about each type, their differences, and how to know which one is right for you.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels (Mono / Mono PERC)
Monocrystalline solar panels are distinguishable by their single, flat black color. You can also identify the type by the shape of their wafers, which resemble squares with the corners removed.
They derive their name from the manufacturing process. Each cell contains a silicon wafer made from a single silicon crystal. One seed crystal is dropped into a vat of molten silicon to grow one large crystal, which is then sliced into thin wafers.
Monocrystalline solar panels will contain either 60 or 72 solar cells, with 60 cell solar panels making up most residential installations.
A monocrystalline panel will have a solar panel efficiency between 17% and 22%. They are durable, have a long life, and work well in cooler climates. If roof space is at a premium, then monocrystalline cells make an excellent choice.
However, monocrystalline solar panels are typically the most expensive because of the manufacturing process, but the price gap is shrinking.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels (Poly)
You can recognize polycrystalline solar panels from their deep blue color and cells without the corners cut off. The color puts many residents off using this type of solar panel because they consider it an eyesore.
The manufacturing process is like monocrystalline cells in that a seed crystal is dropped into a vat of molten silica. However, instead of removing one large crystal for processing, the entire vat is allowed to cool into many crystals, hence the name.
A polycrystalline solar panel is not as efficient as a similarly sized monocrystalline cell, with solar efficiencies ranging from 15% to 17%. However, with new technologies, the gap between the competing cells is decreasing with every generation. Later iterations of poly solar panels have pushed 60-cell solar energy generation from 240-watts to over 300-watts.
Bifacial Solar Panels
A bifacial solar cell can produce solar energy from both sides of the panel, which creates obvious solar panel efficiency advantages but limits their potential in an urban environment because of sloped roofs.
Energy from the front of the panel is produced by direct sunlight, while the back of the panel captures reflected light. Naturally, the more reflective the installation surface, the more energy the solar panel can generate.
Typically, bifacial panels are manufactured using the monocrystalline process.
Bifacial panels work best when tilted at an angle to the surface on which they are installed. Large commercial properties with flat, white roofs or ground-mounted arrays will realize the most gains when using bifacial panels.
Future Generations of Solar Technology
Solar power is an important alternative energy source, which is why it will continue to attract investment in research and development for creating more efficient, less costly solar cells like heterojunction solar panels.
In a heterojunction solar panel, a crystalline silicon cell is sandwiched between two layers of amorphous (not crystalline) silicon.
Amorphous silicon is not efficient at converting sunlight into electricity, but it is much cheaper to manufacture.
When a conventional monocrystalline structure is sandwiched between two amorphous silicon layers, the solar cell can capture more photons than was previously possible.
Other solar technologies like flexible solar panels have had limited appeal because of their inefficiency but have remained attractive because of their flexibility. Previous generations could produce single-digit percentage efficiencies, but recent developments have enabled researchers to increase gains to 23%.
Get Expert Solar Panel Advice
If you aren’t sure about which solar panel option is best for you, then be sure to get in touch with our team experts to receive impartial, professional advice. Learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint and your energy bills through solar today.
Thank you for any other wonderful post. The place else may anyone get that type of info in such an ideal approach of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the search for such info.
Very good article. I certainly appreciate this website. Keep writing!
I needed to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to look at new things you postÖ
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be useful to read content from other authors and use something from their websites.
I am curious to find out what blog system you’re utilizing? I’m experiencing some minor security issues with my latest site and I would like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any solutions?
Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues. It was really informative. Your site is very useful. Thanks for sharing!
May I simply say what a comfort to uncover somebody that actually understands what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to check this out and understand this side of the story. I cant believe you are not more popular since you definitely possess the gift.
It ís hard to come by knowledgeable people for this subject, but you definitely know what you’re talking about! Thanks
Virtually all of what you assert is astonishingly appropriate and it makes me ponder why I hadn’t looked at this with this light before. This particular piece truly did switch the light on for me as far as this specific issue goes. But there is 1 point I am not really too comfortable with so while I try to reconcile that with the actual core theme of the position, let me see exactly what the rest of your readers have to say. Well done!
I was excited to uncover this website. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to look at new things in your site.
I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your
sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Many thanks
Good replies in return of this matter with solid arguments
and describing the whole thing regarding that.
Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. Its always interesting to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their sites.
What i do not understood is in fact how you’re no longer really a lot more smartly-appreciated than you might be right now. You’re so intelligent. You recognise therefore significantly in the case of this topic, made me in my opinion consider it from a lot of varied angles. Your individual stuffs outstanding. All the time care for it up!
Someone essentially help to make seriously posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular publish amazing. Magnificent job!
I have been surfing online greater than three hours these days, yet I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s beautiful worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the internet will probably be a lot more useful than ever before.
Its like you learn my thoughts! You seem to know a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few p.c. to pressure the message home a little bit, however other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.
I got what you intend, regards for putting up. Woh I am pleased to find this website through google.
I really like what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work and coverage! Keep up the awesome works guys! I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.
Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you are talking about! Bookmarked!
Unquestionably consider that that you said. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the entire thing with no need side-effects, folks can take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thanks
Fantastic site. A lot of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few friends. And obviously, thanks for your effort!
Hi my loved one! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and come with almost all vital infos. I’d like to see more posts like this.