What are Different Types of Solar Panels
There are 3 or more different types of solar panels that you can build.
Here are the top 3 most used types of solar panel material in use today.
Monocrystalline silicon panels
Monocrystalline silicon is used in the manufacturing of high-performance solar cells. These types of solar panels can achieve 17% efficiency, compared to other types of less expensive cells including thin film and polycrystalline which can achieve around 10% efficiency.
Few solar charger companies actually use monocrystalline panels because of the high costs to produce solar cells. Monocrystalline panels are becoming more popular though because consumers are looking for more efficient types of solar panels.
Thin Film Solar Cells
Also called a thin-film photovoltaic cell is a solar cell that is made by depositing one or more thin layers of photovoltaic material on a substrate. The thickness of this layer varies from a few nanometers to tens of micrometers.
Thin-Film solar cells are usually put into categories according to the type of photovoltaic material used, which can be:
- Amorphous silicon a-Si
- Copper indium gallium selenide
- Cadmium Telluride
- DSC or Dye-sensitized solar cells
Thin-film solar cells are really inexpensive to make and they can take a lot of heat, these facts make them a popular choice for big solar farm projects and other really big solar projects. You will rarely see them on roofs of houses though because they are too inefficient.
Polycrystalline silicon is also a key component of solar panel construction. The growth of the photovoltaic solar industry was limited by the supply of the polysilicon material. For the first time, in 2006, over half of the world’s supply of polysilicon was being used for the production of renewable electricity solar power panels. Only twelve factories were known to produce solar-grade polysilicon in 2008. Monocrystalline silicon was higher-priced and more efficient than multi-crystalline. This however changed and, in 2011, there was a large excess of production capacity of polysilicon.
These types of panels have lower levels of efficiency than monocrystalline, which makes them more expensive to produce. The good thing is that their construction design makes up for the loss of efficiency. All in all this type of material is good for roofs.