Renewable energy is a growing trend in the United States. As concerns rise over global warming and technology improves renewable energy accounted for 18% of all electricity produced in the United States in 2017. When it comes to homeowners who want to go green, solar panels are the way to go, since wind turbines and hydroelectric dams aren’t possible on an individual basis. Solar power technology has advanced a long way in a short amount of time. Here’s a look at the different types of solar panels available, and how monocrystalline pv module efficiency is unmatched.
Polycrystalline silicon solar cells have been on the market since 1981, and are most likely what you envision when thinking about solar panels. These are the most cost-effective solar panels, mainly due to simpler production process. The lower cost also means lower efficiency. These panels are around 15% less efficient than monocrystalline pv module counterparts.
That decreased efficiency means that it’ll take more panels – and more space – to meet your in-home electricity production needs. You’ll want to make sure you have sufficient square footage before you consider installing this type of solar panel.
Monocrystalline silicon solar cells have a distinct diamond pattern look to them, thanks to their unique production process. The process starts with cylinders of silicon, which are then have the sides removed so they can be shaped into wafers. This is called the Czochralski process, and the downside to it is that the removed silicon simply ends up as waste.
As a result, monocrystalline pv modules are a bigger investment. The good news is, your investment dollar is rewarded in the form of higher efficiency. These solar panels have an energy conversion rate of up to 20%. You can take comfort on every sunny day knowing that you’re converting a portion of all of that solar energy around you into electricity. The increased efficiency also means fewer panels, which means you need less space to install the panels you need. Additionally, monocrystalline silicon solar panels are the longest-lasting panels on the market. A majority of manufacturers are confident enough to back them with 25-year warranties.
There’s no doubt that the decision to install solar panels shouldn’t come lightly. However, taking the increased monocrystalline pv module efficiency offers a worthwhile investment. Your decision to help the environment, while at the same time lowering your utility costs, will ultimately be rewarded.
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