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Types Of Solar Panels: Benefits and Drawbacks

Planning to install a solar power system to power up the electrical systems in your home? Then look no further than Sunny Solar power and panels in Cairns. Generally, there are three ways to generate solar panels. Learn about their pros and cons to make the most of your investment.

1. Monocrystalline

The technology to produce monocrystalline panels was invented in the 50s. The cells were cut out of silicon in cylinder shapes, which are called wafers. Then, ten wafers were combined to create a monocrystalline panel.


Monocrystalline units are typically constructed from premium silicone, thus providing them with the highest performance compared to other types, usually up to 20%. More specifically, monocrystalline panels can outperform thin films by 4 to 1. Also, they make use of the space and produce a high yield of power in each square foot. Compared to polycrystalline panels, monocrystalline units often perform better in a low-light condition. And the warranty typically lasts for 25 years.


The most significant drawback of monocrystalline panels is its exorbitant price, mainly due to high-quality materials. Also, circuit breakdowns are quite frequent when the panels are shaded or obstructed. The process of manufacturing generates significant waste. Monocrystalline panels generally perform best in warmer conditions, with efficiency decreasing when the temperature increases.

2. Polycrystalline

While polycrystalline and monocrystalline units are both made from silicon, the formers are manufactured by pouring silicone into a mould instead of cutting out the wafer shapes.


The high-temperature ratings of polycrystalline panels are a little bit lower than those of monocrystalline units. However, these differences are minor, making them an excellent choice for many homeowners. More importantly, the process of manufacturing produces little waste, and the advanced technology reduces energy price.


The efficiency of polycrystalline panels is relatively low, often from 13 to 16 per cent. They also need more space for the installation to generate the same electrical outputs as monocrystalline panels.

3. Thin Film

Manufacturers produce thin-film panels by putting different layers of photovoltaic elements, such as organic photovoltaic or amorphous silicon cells.


The benefits of thin-film units are many but do not outweigh the drawbacks. They are lightweight and immune to issues from obstructions, shades or low-light conditions. Also, it is easy to mass manufacture these panels, making them an affordable choice to consider.

  • Space: Generally, these units generally require lots of space for installation. For commercial purposes, it makes sense. But for residential application, where space is often tight, they do not work.
  • Cost: As it often requires a large number of panels to install this type of system, the prices might also be higher. In most cases, you need to buy many cables, and support elements accommodate these units.
  • Lifespan: Thin-film panels do not last long and succumb quickly to the weather effects. That’s why it’s hard to find a manufacturer providing a long-warranty with thin-film panels.

Tier 1 Solar Panels –Why Are They So Important?

Solar panels are an excellent way to cut energy costs for residences and businesses. If you’re considering a new solar system, make sure you’re getting more bang for your buck. Identifying top-of-the-line panels is made easy thanks to the tier classification system. Several factors are considered before a solar panel is classified:

  • Where parts are manufactured and assembled
  • Quality control factors
  • Product research and development
  • Company reputation and standing
  • Location of the company (domestic or foreign)
  • Age of the manufacturer
  • Product quality and conformity
Tier 1 Solar Panels

Of all manufacturers, only 2% are Tier 1 classified. To earn this distinction, each part must be Australia-made. The manufacturer does lots of research and development. Manufacturing processes are automated to ensure high quality. For the business to instil more trust in its ability to honour warranties, it has to be in operation for more than five years.

Tier 2 Solar Panels

Mediocre in quality, Tier 2 panels are produced by 8% of Australian manufacturers. These businesses have been around for more than two years, but less than five. Their investment in research and development is wanting. Quality standards aren’t guaranteed due to poor automation or lack of it during production.

Tier 3 Solar Panels

90% of all manufacturers are Tier 3 suppliers. These are “Johnny-come-lately” start-ups with minimal experience. Solar parts are made overseas and imported for assembly. Such parts are rarely tested and there’s little research and development. Quality is inconsistent because the products are handmade. There’s little chance for these companies to honour warranties. Most of them will be consolidated with another provider or go out of business within one or two years.

Assessing Your Options

Doing a little research goes a long way toward choosing the right system. Tier 1 solar panels lead the pack. They’re a viable investment for professional investors and commercial solar farms. If you’re in the dark about a specific solar panel brand, look it up on Google. Think local because foreign providers don’t do repairs and honour warranties down the road.

High-quality panels have established websites packed with lots of in-depth information. If there’s no info about the manufacturer, move on. Make sure the solar panels are Australia-tested.

Before purchasing, find out:

  • How the solar panels are made – their parts and material composition.
  • Where the firm is located and its contact info.
  • Where the panels are manufactured.
  • How long you’ll wait before realising a Return on Investment (ROI).

Other things to consider include warranty information, manufacturing diagrams and system yield estimates. Think local, Tier 1 and professional installation.

Reliable companies walk clients through the buying process. They’ll hide nothing from you and will keep in touch with you even after you’ve made a purchase. Go for quality and reputable products to find the right solar system for your residence or business. If you need some profession advice, then we recommend none other than They work mainly from Geelong, in Victoria, but now have a ballarat location. Contact them for more resources.

If you’re on a shoestring budget but eager to go solar, don’t fall for dirt-cheap products. Cash in on solar leasing and power purchase agreements. Pay out of pocket if possible to accrue more long-term savings.