DWQA QuestionsCategory: Power SystemsWhat are the 3 Types of Solar Panels?
Pi Team Staff asked 5 months ago
The three types of solar panels are polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin film solar panels. Solar panels are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. They consist of solar cells that capture the sun’s energy and convert it into usable, sustainable, and green energy.  Here’s a breakdown of each type:    

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline (multi-crystalline) solar panels are made of molten silicon fragments. The resulting crystals have slightly varying orientations, giving the panels their iconic speckled blue appearance. Polycrystalline solar panels cost less than monocrystalline panels. They also provide a decent solar efficiency that ranges between 13-18% and perform well in moderate weather conditions.  However, since the silicon fragments don’t align perfectly, their efficiency is lower compared to the precisely cut monocrystalline solar cells.     

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline or single-crystal silicon solar panels are made from silicon formed into uniform crystals through a controlled manufacturing process. Since they’re not fused like polycrystalline panels, they have a black hue and a perfectly even appearance. Their design contributes to higher efficiency, typically between 15-20%. This makes them a better choice when not much space is available for solar panels.  Still, monocrystalline panels are often more expensive to produce compared to their polycrystalline peers. Their performance also degrades a bit faster in extremely warm weather.    

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Thin-film solar panels utilize an ultra-thin layer of photosensitive material placed on a backing surface like glass or stainless steel. Cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) are examples of the materials used. The flexibility of these materials allows the film solar panels to adapt to curved surfaces like uneven walls and vehicles. They’re currently less expensive than conventional solar panels, but their efficiency rates are below both types of panels.     

Can Solar Panels Replace Generators?

Solar panels are cleaner forms of energy compared to gas and diesel generators. Yet, they require a lot more cleaning and maintenance, and their final energy output lags behind generators, especially diesel ones. As such, solar panels are yet to replace generators. You can, however, utilize hybrid technology to get the best of both worlds. Hybrid generators combine the cleanliness of solar energy with efficiency and high output.    

Final Words

Solar Panels can be polycrystalline, monocrystalline, or thin film solar panels. Each comes with a set of pros and cons that you should take into consideration before installation. If you need green energy solutions, contact us at PI-Dubai so we can customize a solution based on your specific needs.