Trying to figure out what are the best kind of solar panels, is like researching the best car company.
Solar has become a big industry. With that, more and more companies have started to produce and manufacture solar panels. Many are very good, and many newer ones are still figuring it out. So which one do you choose for your home?
In my previous article, I explained the different parts. of a solar panel system. Knowing about the four basic parts of a solar panel system, what they do, and how they work together, will help you make the best decision when switching to solar power.
But with over 350 solar panel manufacturers, which type or kind of panel do you choose? Which solar panel is best for your home, and which one is going to help zero out your electricity bill?
While there are four essential parts to a solar panel system, the actual solar panels are the most important and also the most obvious part.
Solar panels work thanks to their highly conductive material (silicone cells) that uses the sun’s rays to generate direct current electricity. Sunlight stimulates electrons to move through the silicone cells that are built into solar panels and this creates electricity. Some people think that it’s the sun’s heat that creates electricity, but in fact its sunlight, or more specifically the rays that the sun emits.
Knowing about the four parts of a solar PV system, what they do and how they work together will help you make the best decision when switching to solar power. But which panels do you choose?
Difference Between Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels
When we talk about a”kind” panel, it’s best to start with the two most common ways a solar panel is built, one uses monocrystalline, and the other polycrystalline.
Don’t worry, this gets a lot easier to understand in two-minutes
Different solar installers work with different types of panels and panels are made by many different brands, so it would be hard for us to tell you which was “the best” panel. But we can give you some basic information about panels themselves to help you better understand solar panels and make a confident decision when going solar.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels have solar cells made from a single crystal of silicon. They also tend to be darker in appearance and range from an almost black to a dark blue. They are also considered by many more aesthetic in appearance and due to production methods the corners are usually missing (as you can see in the above picture).
Polycrystalline solar panels have solar cells made from many silicon fragments melted together. Polycrystalline panels are generally lighter in color and because they are made of many different crystal cells the panels can have a slight variation in color.
Previously, because monocrystalline solar panels were made of one crystal cell it was considered that they could produce solar power energy more efficiently, the one large cell being able to absorb more sun rays than the many individual cells. However, today, thanks to advancing technology in the field of solar power, the difference between the two technologies is very slight and both panels make a great solar PV system for your home or office.
The more important question when selecting a solar panel is the quality of their manufacturing. The two main questions being the manufacturer of the solar panels and their performance over time.
Choosing the Right Solar Panel For Your Home or Office
Be it for your home or office, a solar PV system is a great investment, but it’s also an important one. Like anything, you will get what you pay for. Savings is key, but so is quality as you want your solar panels to last 25 years or more and maintain optimal energy production during that time and beyond.
What some home or business owners don’t know is that there are actually three different tiers of solar panels. Because this is important, we’ve written a separate article that covers the these three tiers and their pros and cons, but to cover the subject briefly:
Tier 1 solar are solar panels produced by the major brands and tend to be 10-30% more expensive, but at the same time are not only higher in quality but also have better warranty plans. You may have heard of some tier 1 companies, which include: Sunpower, Solarworld, Panasonic, LG, Trina, Jinko, Rene Solar and Canadian Solar.
Ricardo Del Sol
Editor, Expert Solar