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Types of Solar Panels

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Two Types of Solar Panels.
One New, One Proven

Solar panel types for commercial buildings[/titlezone]

Typically there are two types of solar PV technologies used to create renewable energy, crystalline or thin film.

Crystalline Solar

Poly-crystalline solar panels are generally made with silicon crystals as the semiconductor material. Single-crystalline or monocrystalline panels, which have the longest track record and highest efficiency, and are composed of a single crystal of silicon. Multi-crystalline, or polycrystalline solar panels, by contrast, are cheaper and less fragile because they’re made with many small blocks of silicon. Common brand names in this space include Sunpower, Kyocera, and Sharp solar panels.

Drawbacks of Crystalline Solar: This type of panel is more expensive and less flexible to install.

Type of solar panel

Thin Film

This technology, though cheaper to produce, lightweight, and less fragile to install and use, is currently much less efficient at converting solar energy into solar electricity than crystalline technologies. Thin film solar products are made by applying layers of semiconductor material such as indium diselenide, cadmium telluride, or silicon to a medium such as a flexible piece of metal or plastic.

Advantages of Thin Film Solar Panels: This technology can be applied to almost any medium – some building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) can be applied to building facades directly.

Drawbacks of Thin Film Solar Panels: The applications for thin film are exciting, but without a proven track record, this technology is not mature enough for most commercial solar applications.

types of solar panels

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