Solar energy is among the most abundant and commonly used renewable energy sources in the world. It’s a clean energy source that can be tapped by using solar panels. In the earlier years, solar power was only utilised in a commercial setting. The expensive costs of installing the systems and the limited option were among the few reasons why only business could afford to invest in such as energy source.
Fast forward to modern day, solar power has amassed great demand and support from residential customers. If you’re among the many who want to switch to solar energy, it would be best to learn more about the main types of solar panels. This way you get to select an option that would cater to your needs.
Most Common Types of Solar Panels
The effectiveness of a photovoltaic technology highly depends on its ability to convert sunlight into a usable form of energy. Over the years, manufacturers were able to develop various types of solar energy panels. Below are the four main types of solar panels you can find in the market today.
Concentrated PV Cells
The concentrated PV cell or CPV was introduced back in 1970s but has only gained more traction in the recent years. The CPV system is mostly used in a residential setting when installed on roofs. But they can also be utilised for large commercial projects located in remote sites. It offers a number of advantages including high energy efficiency rate, zero thermal mass and scalability. However, for it to be efficient, you need to install it in a spacious area that’s completely exposed to the sun.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Mono-SI or monocrystalline solar panels are made from 100 percent single crystal silicone. It is best distinguished by its dark color and rounded edges. Unlike the polycrystalline type, it’s has a higher energy efficient rate. Also, it has the highest heat resistance and durability. This ensures that you get to use them for a very long time. The only disadvantage of using this type of solar panel is its expensive cost. You may need to shell out a large sum of money for the panels and the installation. But, if you’re looking for an excellent long-term investment, it’s definitely the perfect choice.
Thin Film Solar Panels
If you are keen on using the least expensive option, you can try the thin-film solar cells (TFSC). Among all the types of solar panels, the TFSC is the easiest to make. As a result, they’re cheaper alternatives especially if you’re new to solar energy and you’re still considering it as your power source. Even with its cheap price, this type of panel is made more flexible and heat resistant, so it offers good value for your money. The only cons to using it are its large size and short lifespan and product warranty.
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