One of the most common questions we get asked as Solar Installers in Tampa is, “what is the best kind of solar panel?”
The truth is, it is a lot of information available online and some of it can be confusing to a homeowner who is considering solar, reviews, online forums, and with each company advertising the solar panels they use or are contracted to sell.
Understanding some basic information about the two main kinds of solar panels, as well as how they work can help you make the best decision for your home.
If you need any assistance in getting questions answered about solar, solar panels, or want to speak to a Solar Installer directly, at Expert Solar we have Solar Consultants available seven days a week to help you.
How do you know if a house has solar? Panels! Since solar panels are the most visible part of your solar PV system, I’ll take these up first.
As explained in our earlier blog, solar panels work thanks to their highly conductive material that uses the sun’s rays to generate direct current electricity. Sunlight stimulates electrons to move through solar 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 it’s sunlight, or more specifically the various 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.
So, Which Solar Panels Are Best for Your Tampa Home?
Different solar installers work with different types of panels and panels are made by many different brands, so it would be hard for me to tell you which is “the best”. But I 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
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, I’ve written a separate article that covers these three tiers and their pros and cons, but to cover the subject briefly: The Three Different Tiers of Solar Panels.
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, Tesla, Rene Solar and Canadian Solar.
At Expert Solar, we only use tier 1 solar panels. To learn more about our solar panels, or to get an estimate on how much it would cost to go solar please contact us.