What are the best residential solar panels available?
Are you ready to transform your life with solar energy? Households feel amazingly freed when they trade in regular electricity for solar electricity. No longer do you have to depend on the electric companies with their high prices that continue to rise. Solar power provides a healthier environment for you and your family and it offers huge rewards in the form of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs).
If you’re ready to transition to solar energy, the next step is determining which residential solar panels are best for your home. We’ll break down the most popular solar panels available, but be sure to discuss your options in more detail with your installer.
Crystalline Silicon (c-Si)
Roughly 90 percent of the world’s solar powered systems are made from some form of silicon. The major difference is the purity of the material. The idea is that pure silicon is more effective at converting sunlight into energy. While this is true, it costs money to make silicon pure. Taking away some of the purity is often necessary for making PV systems more affordable.
Let’s look closer at the most popular types of silicon solar panels on the market.
Monocrystalline (mono-Si) Solar Panels
Solar cells made of monocrystalline silicon are space efficient and have an even-appearance. Because they have the highest efficiency rates, you need less of them to produce power for your home. Monocrystalline panels use the highest-grade silicon and have a long lifespan of at least 25 years. If you are leaning towards monocrystalline panels, check with your installer on if they are able to get them. They tend to be more expensive, but most solar installers have made them much more affordable to the average homeowner in recent years, which is why you’ve started noticing them more.
Polycrystalline (poly-Si) Solar Panels
Solar cells made of polycrystalline silicon may not be as efficient as monocrystalline silicon, but they are still highly effective at converting sunlight into energy. They are also more affordable because they use less silicon. Homeowners typically like the look of these panels because they have a gentle blue hue. With this type of solar panel you will need more of them, so expect a larger portion of your roof to be covered.
Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Solar Panels
Traditionally, amorphous silicon has been used in small applications, such as pocket watches because it has a low output. However, the latest innovations allow amorphous silicon to be used in large applications, such as solar systems. To achieve this, several layers of amorphous silicon cells are stacked on top of each other to create better efficiency. However, stacking is expensive and these panels generally have shorter warranties and lifespans.
Thin-Film Solar Cells (TFSC)
Thin-film solar cells are less expensive, easy to produce, and flexible. They are made by placing one or more films of photovoltaic material (silicon) onto a substrate. The main issue with these solar cells is that they take up a lot of space, therefore, they aren’t ideal for residential applications but are great for commercial buildings. They also have shorter lifespans compared to other types.
New Technologies on the Horizon
The good news is that there are a variety of new technologies that are in the research and development phase. In the near future, you may have more options available to power your home through solar energy. For now, monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are most popular and offer a good balance of efficiency, durability, and affordability.
To discuss your options for residential solar panels, contact Suntuity Solar today.