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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Pros

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.

Cons
  • 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.