In a single hour, the amount of power from the sun that strikes the Earth is more than the entire world consumes in a year! According to Business Insider, each hour 430 quintillion Joules of energy from the sun hits the Earth. That's 430 with 18 zeroes after it, in comparison, the total amount of energy that all humans use in a year is 410 quintillion Joules.
As the owner of a solar PV system you can save on your energy costs and you can feel good about having done your part in saving the world by contributing to keeping the air less polluted.
The solar panels you see in today’s market are basically made using three types of technology, monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film PV. The monocrystalline and the polycrystalline both use crystalline-based solar cells, whereas thin film is made using one or several thin layers of photovoltaic material onto a substrate. In this article we will introduce these different types and explain the advantages and disadvantages for each of them.
The monocrystalline: This is most developed and the oldest one of the three technologies. Monocrystalline panels are created from a single continuous pure crystal structure they are manufactured using a process called Czochralski. You can recognize a monocrystalline pannel from its solar cells which all appear as a single flat color.
- Since they made out of the highest-grade silicon, they have the highest rate with an efficiency up to 23%.
- They are space-efficient, a monocrystalline solar panel produce 4 times more electricity than a thin film panel with the same size
- Live the longest due to the high quality silicon they are made of
- Should perform the best at low-light conditions
- They are the most expensive, due to their complex manufacturing process
- Monocrystalline solar panels are efficient in warm weather. Performance is degraded as temperature goes up, but still better than polycrystalline solar panels
The polycrystalline or the multi-crystalline is a newer technology than the monocrystalline, the solar panels are made of multiple crystal structure, solar panels do not require the Czochralski process, raw silicon is melted and poured into a square mold, which is cooled and cut into perfectly square wafers.
- They are less expensive since the manufacturing process is simpler and cost less
- Since the silicon used is less purity, the efficiency of polycrystalline-based solar panels is typically 13-16%
- Lower space-efficiency: To output the same electrical power as the one with a solar panel made of monocrystalline silicon a larger surface have to be covered
The Thin film PV is manufactured by depositing one or several thin layers of photovoltaic material onto a substrate. There are different types of thin-film solar cells which are categorized dependong on the photovoltaic material type deposed onto the substrate.
- They are easy and cheap to manufacture
- They have a homogeneous design comparing to the mono and poly-crystalline
- Since they are less efficient than the other types, they need more space to be covered
- They are almost useless to make a small size of solar panel
- They trend to degrade faster than the other types
All our products have been made using SunPower® solar panels a leader of solar cells manufacturing, we produce a wide selection of devices and almost all of them have one year guarantee. See Selection !