3 Major Types of Solar Panels Available on the Market Today

Posted on 02 May 2022

3 Major Types of Solar Panels Available on the Market Today

There are 3 major types of residential and commercial solar panels on the market today, each of which differs from the last in a variety of ways. Some of them are made more specifically as residential solar panels, while some are better used as commercial solar panels. Here, Solar Power Direct will look into the major types of solar panels, what makes them different and which are best for your particular needs.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

These are also known as single-crystal panels, as they are manufactured using one single pure silicon crystal that is cut into many individual wafers. This is the most recognisable type, due to its black colour. As it is made from a single crystal of silicon, it is highly durable and will generally last longer than any of the other three types. In saying that, during production a lot of silicon is wasted, which results in a high price tag.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Similarly made to the monocrystalline solar panels, the polycrystalline solar panels use many silicone crystals instead, as opposed to a singular crystal. The many different crystals of silicon are melted together into one and then poured into a square mould. This process results in very little wastage and hence, these are relatively cheaper than monocrystalline panels. However, as their silicon purity is lower, it means that they are less efficient. These first two types of panels are commonly used as residential solar panels.

Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) Panels

This is a relatively new technology, which adds a passivation layer to the rear surface of the cell that enhances efficiency in multiple ways. This technology is now often used in commercial solar panels. Some unique features of these PERC panels are that they:

  • Reflect light back into the cell, increasing the amount of solar radiation that can be absorbed.

  • Allow greater wavelengths of light to be reflected. High intensity light waves cannot be absorbed by silicon and simply pass through, however with the passivation layer on the rear, this energy can be harnessed.

  • Can be made much smaller than other types, as they essentially have a greater surface area to size ratio, allowing them to be used in areas that have limited space.

Contact the team at Solar Power Direct on 08 7226 0560 for the best solar panels South Australia has to offer.

Solar Power Direct is a proud member of the Smart Energy Council, working towards a safe climate and a strong renewable economy.