Are You Installing a Solar PV System? Your All-Important Guide to Different Types of Solar Panels

Solar panel systems are now a more common sight across the United Kingdom, and even though different areas have differing sunlight hours, the UK, on average, receives about four hours of sun per day, which makes a solar PV system more than ideal for most locations. But if you are carefully considering a solar panel installation, there are many factors you have to think about as well – one of which is the type of solar panels you will install.

There are two main types from which you can benefit, namely monocrystalline and polycrystalline, but how do you know which one to choose? So are you installing – or planning to install – a solar PV system? Here’s your all-important guide to different types of solar panels.

Your choices in solar panels

Your choices in solar panels will have to depend on several factors, namely, solar panel efficiency, cost, and available space. Needless to say, there are solar panels that will cost more than others, and there are those which will be more efficient as well, so this will also have an effect on the number of solar panels you may need to set up or install. For instance, you would require less space if you use monocrystalline solar panels compared to polycrystalline and thin-film solar panels, for various reasons.

A look at monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels

Monocrystalline solar panels come with an efficiency rating of around 15 to 20%, whilst polycrystalline ones will often have an efficiency rating between 13 to 17%. Monocrystalline panels will also require less space when you install them, but polycrystalline panels are cheaper compared to monocrystalline.

It also pays to remember that unlike other types of panels, monocrystalline ones are not as affected by changes in the weather, although polycrystalline ones are more tolerant of the temperature.

If you are on a budget, monocrystalline panels may not be the ideal choice as they are the most expensive type of solar panel, but polycrystalline panels have a lower efficiency rating, as confirmed by solar panel installation specialists like

If you are limited on space, you may want to go for monocrystalline panels, however, because they are more efficient when it comes to space – they can generate more power per area as opposed to other types of panels. For instance, a single square meter of monocrystalline panels can produce 10W higher than polycrystalline panels of the same size.

Here’s another aspect of polycrystalline panels that you may want to remember: since they are highly tolerant of temperature, they can produce more power or electricity in the course of a year, especially when compared to monocrystalline panels. On the other hand, polycrystalline panels are not as efficient compared to monocrystalline on a daily basis because the silicon material they are made from is not as pure.

At the end of the day, whatever type of solar panels you choose, make sure it is the right fit for your needs and budget as well as your space. It’s best to weigh all the different aspects so you can make the ideal choice.

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