Types of Solar Panels
If youíre looking to install some solar panelling on your home, you may think all you need to do is purchase some panels and install them. However, itís not quite that simple. There are actually three different types of solar panels out there, and you will need to decide which type you want to use. Some types are more efficient than others, but there is also cost to consider as well.
One type of solar panel is the monocrystalline solar panel. This type of panel is constructed out of large silicon crystals. They are the most efficient when it comes to actually absorbing sunlight and producing electricity. In fact, they convert about 18% of all solar rays into power. While that may seem like a small amount, it is actually quite significant. Naturally, monocrystalline panels are also the most expensive. However, they function better than the other types of panels in lower light conditions, which is another good benefit.
While they are not quite as efficient as monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar panels still convert around 15% of all sunlight into energy. These panels look almost decorative, resembling shatter glass. This is because they are made out of a lot of small silicon crystals instead of one large crystal like the monocrystalline panels. These solar panels are the most common ones in use today, mainly because they are less expensive that monocrystalline panels yet are almost as efficient.
The third type of solar panel is the amorphous solar panel. This type of panel is not made out of solid silicon crystal. Instead, it uses a thin film-like material thatís created from melted down silicon. This melted silicon is spread over large plates of steel or other rigid, durable material. As it solidifies, it creates a surface that is capable of absorbing solar rays. Amorphous solar panels, however, only absorb and convert about 10% of all sunlight into energy, so they are the least efficient. Of course, they also cost much less to produce, making them an attractive choice for those on a budget. One large advantage that amorphous panels have over the other two types of panels, though, is that they can continue to charge even if part of the panel is in a shadow. These types of panels are often used on ships and other large forms of transportation.
The good news about solar panels is that their production has been doubling about every two years, making solar energy one of the fastest growing fields in the world. All you need is a day of good sunshine and youíve got enough power to cut down your electric bill significantly. As more people start using solar panels, companies will look for new and cheaper ways of producing them. Plus, new types of solar panels, especially more efficient types, are likely to be introduced. However, until then, despite the cost of monocrystalline panels, the fact that they produce nearly double the amount of power that amorphous panels do may make them worth the initial investment.