Solar panels allow people to utilize renewable energy generated by the sun. Solar power is a clean, natural option for energy and more and more homeowners are opting to make the switch to solar power and save on electricity bills.
As well as reducing electricity bills, using solar energy provides a number of benefits. Above all else, it’s a smart decision. It’s also a way to get the renewable energy needed without worrying about a shortage. As a matter of fact, the sun is able to generate enough energy in a single day to provide for the energy needs of everyone in the world for nearly 30 years. It’s reliable, efficient, and clean, but to utilize solar energy you need a way to harness it. This is where solar panels come in.
The majority of the cost of using solar energy comes at the beginning of the process when you install solar panels. The investment needed in solar panels is one of the main reasons put off making the switch to solar, but the cost of solar panels has come down a great deal in recent years. It’s now possible for just about anyone to install solar panels and make the most of solar energy for their homes.
Not to mention the federal and many state and local governments offer financial benefits for making the switch to solar cell panels.
It is well worth the initial investment, considering the amount of money you’ll save and the other benefits you’ll enjoy once solar panels are installed and you’re using solar energy to power your home.
What Should You Know about Solar Panels?
Before you make the investment in solar cell panels, you need to assess your home. Is your roof solar compatible? Is it in good shape or do you need to replace it because it’s older? Is it covered by shade the majority of the day or will the panels be exposed to sunlight?
If there are any household needs you need to take care of to ensure solar panels are effective, be sure to take care of these things before you begin shopping or plan to do maintenance, replacements, or other renovations in conjunction with your solar panel installation.
Different Types of Solar Panels Available in 2018
Now that your home is ready for solar panels, you have to choose the best option for you. What are the different kinds of solar panels?
Monocrystalline silicon panels, or mono-si for short, are “pure” solar panels. They are the most efficient option, so you don’t need to use as many panels as you might if you opted for another choice. Mono-si panels last about 25 years and have an efficiency rating of at least 15 to 22%.
These panels are one of the most common you see. They are dark and have rounded edges.
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Polycrystalline solar panels, also known as poly-si panels, cost less than mono-si panels, but this is because they aren’t as efficient and their lifespan is shorter. You can counteract some of the efficiency issues by installing more panels, so the initial cost will be more but over time you’ll save money on energy. However, you need to be sure you have the roof space for more panels.
Polycrystalline solarpanels last about 20 to 25 years and have an energy rating of 13 to 16%. These panels are made up of squares and have a speckled blue surface. They are made by melting raw silicon and are cheaper and faster to manufacturer than their mono- counterparts.
In most cases, the choice between mono- and poli-si panels is based on the amount of space a homeowner has and/or how much they want to spend.
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Thin Film Solar Cells
Thin film solar cells, also known as TFSC panels, are fairly inexpensive. They are flexible and make it possible to install them on a variety of surfaces.
There are several different types of TFSC panels, including:
- Amorphous Silicon: These panels last about 14 to 17 years and offer an efficiency rating of 6 to 10%. These panels feature triple layered technology but are only a thickness of one-millionth of a meter thick.
- Copper Indium Gallium Selenide: These panels last about 7 to 15 years and offer an efficiency rating of 10 to 12%.
- Cadmium Telluride: These panels last about 10 to 15 years and offer an efficiency rating of 9 to 11%. These panels require the least amount of water for production and reduce the carbon footprint as low as possible. The disadvantage of this type of panel is that the material is toxic if ingested or inhaled.
Many different types of thin film solar cells are available including these panels …..
Biohybrid Solar Cells
Biohybrid solar cells are still in the testing phase, but those familiar with this type of panel are excited because the panel emulates photosynthesis. Many are hoping these panels will be 1000 times more efficient than 1st generation types of solar panels).
Concentrated PV Cells
Concentrated PV Cell panels or (CVP and HCVP) generate electrical energy in much the same way as conventional photovoltaic panels do. They have an efficiency rate up to 41%, which, among all photovoltaic systems, is the highest to date.
These panels feature a curved mirror surface, lens, and sometimes even cooling systems that bundle the sun rays and make for the most efficient process. The downside is these panels must face the sun at a perfect angle. They have a solar tracker inside the solar panel is responsible for following the sun.
Building Integrated Photovoltaics
Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) are the newest type of panels and are actually integrated into the shingles or tiles of your existing roof. The lifespan and efficiency of these types of panels are based on how many you install and the type of the specific smaller panel you choose.