The use of solar energy has been on a steady rise and does not show any signs of going down. Reports show that it makes up for up to 1.6 percent of electricity generation in the US only.
According to US solar market insight, by the end of 2020, the US had installed enough solar panels to power over 17 million homes.
This comes as more individuals realize the unmatched benefits of solar power, such as convenience, saved energy bills, and eco-friendliness.
However, the main challenge comes in identifying the best types of solar panels, especially with so many choices in the market. The rise in demand for these products has resulted in an increase in brands coming up and claiming to offer the best solar panels.
Understanding the different solar panel options is the first step towards selecting the best choice. You get a chance to weigh the pros and cons of each before establishing the most suitable for your home.
You can learn more by checking out our guide here.
1. Solar Roof Shingles
Solar roof shingles are the latest innovation to be added to the list of solar panels.
They are slowly becoming most homeowners’ favorite, thanks to their beautiful, modern design. If you are looking for a perfect way to boost your home’s energy efficiency while improving its overall curb appeal, you should consider this type of solar panel.
Their design resembles asphalt shingle roofs, which means that the panels can serve two purposes. Their durability is unmatched and can offer you up to 63 watts, which is pretty good for residential use.
The only drawback, however, is the price. Solar roof shingles are a bit expensive. But considering that they protect your roof on top of providing energy, you are assured of getting value for money.
2. Monocrystalline Panels
These are by far the most common solar panels, thanks to their high energy efficiency and reliability.
They are the best option for anyone looking for a powerful solar panel that can offer clean energy. They feature an efficient energy collection feature, so you do not have to worry about the lack of dim lights or dark nights due to inadequate energy.
The best part is that these solar panels convert about 20% of the collected energy into electricity. With time, the energy converting technology in these solar panels is getting better, which means more efficiency and reliability.
You will also love the beautiful and practical design of these panels. They are small. Thus, you do not need a lot of space for setup. Their power output is to die for and can serve you for the most extended period.
The primary drawback, however, is the price. Monocrystalline solar panels are by far the most expensive in the market. This makes them an unsuitable option for individuals operating on a tight budget.
However, the good news is that you can apply for solar panel rebates and grants to cut down on the cost. Check out the full article on this for comprehensive guidance on how to become eligible for the benefits.
3. Thin Film
The most outstanding features of thin-film solar panels are their low-profile technology and how thin they are.
Just as the name suggests, these kinds of solar panels are slim, but that should never be a concern. Moreover, unlike most panels that are made of silicon, thin-film panels come in varying materials, including amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and CIGS.
Depending on the make, the panels can be black or blue. They offer an efficiency of up to 11%, which is quite good considering that thin-film solar panels are the cheapest in the market.
Thin-film panels are also known to offer flexibility. They are lightweight and up to a hundred times thinner than the traditional silicon-made solar panels.
They come in different types based on the material used and the manufacturing method, so you can review the benefits and disadvantages of each before settling on one.
4. Polycrystalline Solar Panels
If you are looking for an affordable yet super-efficient solar panel, this is the ideal choice for you.
Also known as multi-crystalline solar panels, Polycrystalline panels feature multiple silicon crystals in one PV cell. In return, the panels allow limited movement of electrons inside each cell, making conversion of energy into electricity much easier.
The most attractive feature about these panels is their eco-friendliness compared to monocrystalline solar panels. This is due to the minimal wastage of silicon during its manufacture.
Polycrystalline panels accept maximum and minimum temperatures of 85 degrees and – 40 degrees, respectively. They are characterized by a lower heat tolerance compared to most solar panels. Hence reduced energy efficiency during high-temperature seasons.
These panels are best suited for commercial settings such as solar farms to enable the supply of power to the neighboring areas. The panels are super affordable, making them the best for individuals working on a tight budget.
Which Is the Best Among the Different Types of Solar Panels?
There is a range of aspects to consider when buying solar panels to ensure that you get the one that suits your precise needs and budget. Some factors to consider include;
Cost is a considerable determinant when purchasing any product, and this case is not an exception. Take your time to compare the solar panel prices, from the cheapest to the most expensive, until you find one worth your money.
In most cases, the expensive option is more efficient, but you should not let cost constraints hinder you from shifting to solar energy. You can still get a reliable panel at an affordable price.
Check the solar panel’s efficiency as this determines if the panel is worth installing in your home. If the solar panel has high efficiency, there are chances that it will help you save energy.
Does the Panel Come With a Warranty?
Solar panels are a significant investment. You, therefore, should be protected in case the unexpected happens. Look for one with a warranty to ensure that you can get a replacement at no extra cost in case of damages.
It is Time to Shift to the Most Sustainable Source of Energy
If you have not moved to solar energy, you are missing out on a lot. With this guide on types of solar panels, you are ready to embark on your journey to building a more sustainable and efficient home.
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