Majority of the solar panel options available today can be categorized into three major divisions – monocrystalline, polycrystalline (also known as multi-crystalline), or thin-film. These panels differ in terms of the way they’re made, their performance, costing, and their ways of installation. Each of them comes with their own set of pros and cons, so its essential that you know enough about all the three types in order to make an informed choice. The type of panel you finalize should cater to the specific needs of both you and your property.
Monocrystalline solar panels are made of silicon wafers, which are cut from cylindrical silicon ingots. These are combined together to form rows and columns, which are then covered with a glass sheet and framed. Since these panels are made out of high grade silicon, they are extremely efficient. They also tend to last longer, since most manufacturers place a 25-year warranty on the panels. However, these panels are not very cost-effective and tend to work better in warmer temperatures. There is also a significant amount of wastage, as when the cylindrical ingots are cut into wafers, large parts of the original silicon are lost. If you have limited space. And wish to make good savings on your electricity bills, monocrystalline panels are a viable option.
To make polycrystalline solar cells, raw silicon is first melted and poured into square molds, after which its cooled and cut into square shaped wafers. These cells look blue in color, because of the way the light reflects off of a polycrystalline panel. The heat tolerance of these panels is quite low, and they tend to perform less effectively in warmer temperatures. Moreover, they also require more space for installation, which might not always be feasible. Since these panels are made from silicon fragments instead of pure silicon, the manufacturing process becomes simpler, which makes them cheaper to install as compared to monocrystalline panels. If you’re a property owner with ample space, installing an polycrystalline panel may be ideal for you. Check out here to know more about Polycrystalline solar panel.
Thin film panels are made of a variety of materials, unlike the other two panels mentioned above. These panels can also be made of amorphous silicon which is similar to the composition of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Though the thin-film panel uses silicon, it is not made up of silicon wafers. Non-crystalline silicon is used instead, and the panels are composed by placing this material on top of glass, plastic, or metal. Like polycrystalline panels, thin-film panels also require more space, and are thus not very viable in residential scenarios. As compared to the other two panels, thin-film panels are also less efficient. The cost of installing this type of panel, however, is lesser than that of monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels. If you plan to install solar panels on a vast, commercial roof and wish to install a not-so-heavy panel, thin film panels will suit your need.