Solar energy is fast becoming the go-to alternative energy source for residents of California. Not surprising, considering that California has the enviable combination of topography and legislation well-suited for the development and use of solar energy systems. Deciding to have solar panels installed in your home is a very easy choice to make. The hard part is deciding on which solar panel to use.
There are different types of solar panels available from different manufacturers and suppliers in the state. These are usually categorized according to the material used in making the photovoltaic cells inside the panels. The three main types of solar cells are monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. One main thing that must be considered is the cost of the panels that you wanted to use. Monocrystalline cells are typically the most expensive of the three, followed by the polycrystalline option. The cheapest is a thin-film. Different brands and suppliers also price the panels differently. Depending on how much you want to pay, we would recommend the monocrystalline panels, which have other attributes to offset their high cost.
The main characteristic of monocrystalline cells that compensate for its cost is its efficiency. Its efficiency rating tops at 18%, around 15-20% more than polycrystalline and thin-film panels. This makes it require 15% less space to be generated as much electricity as other types of solar cells. However, it would also be wise to make sure that you don’t exceed or fall short of your expected solar energy needs.
If you want a more environmentally-friendly system, your best bet is polycrystalline panels. These panels utilize every bit of silicon in the manufacturing process. The downside is that they are not quite as efficient when compared to monocrystalline cells. Thin-film options are the most economical but they are also the least efficient of the three, requiring as much as 30% more space to generate the electricity equivalent to that generated by monocrystalline panels.
Solar panels’ resistance to heat is also one of the essential points to consider. Since they will be operating under the heat of the Californian sun, the more resistant to heat the panels are, the better they will perform over time relative to the other types. Polycrystalline panels typically have the lowest temperature coefficient but this is offset by innovations that help solar cells dissipate heat. These innovations also make it possible for residential solar systems to last up to 25 years.
Choosing a solar panel system all boils down to the homeowner’s need and ability to pay. If the homeowner needs a decent system that can supply a good portion of the total household electricity consumption, polycrystalline and thin-film options should be adequate. If you want a surplus of energy generation so you can contribute to the grid and have the money to buy monocrystalline panels, then you should go for them. To get the best advice on what system is optimal for your household energy needs, check out Soleeva.com in the heart of Silicon Valley. Take a look at our offers including solar roof installation and solar panel innovations, and get a consultation now.