Electricity, Solar, Sustainability

5 Things to Know about Solar Panels

  1. 90% of all Solar Panels are produced with Silicone, and 95% of all Solar Panels sold in America are produced with Silicon.
  2. The main difference between Solar Panel brands is the purity of the Silicone used during production. It is important to look into the manufacturing process when purchasing.
  3. The 2 Main types of Silicon Panels are Poly- and Mono-crystalline. With mono-crystalline being the more efficient and more expensive of the two.
  4. 12v and 24v Panels are most common for our purposes
  5. No matter which you chose, Solar is an amazing power source. When your system is planned properly, you’d never know you weren’t connected to the grid.

If you’d like to learn more, keep reading…

mono-v-poly-crystalline-cells

Solar photovaltaic (PV) Panels, commonly known as Solar Panels, come in Poly-crystalline and Mono-crystalline. The two are immediately distinguishable by their appearance, as you can see at the top of this post.

The main difference between the panels you’ll find, is the purity of the silicone in the panels wafers. Why is the purity important, because it is one of the largest variables in the panels efficiency. Lets take a look at some other differences:

Polycrystalline

  • lower cost per watt, due to easier production process
  • lower efficiency (~15% efficient), due to easier production process
  • needs larger surface area for the same wattage (as mono)
  • performs slightly worse than mono in hot weather

Monocrystalline

  • higher cost per watt, due to purer production process
  • higher efficiency (~20% efficient), due to production process
  • performs slightly better in hot climates
  • has a crippling side effect, should a shadow cover a part of your panel, it could render the panel useless and leave you unable to power your system. You just need to be aware of this issue, it’s not so bad, but can have an effect.

Let’s take a look at our 12v Power System to learn how to incorporate solar panels, and power our home off the grid.

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