Getting a solar panel system installed on your home is one of the best things you can do for the environment. Not only will it save you money on energy, but it also reduces your carbon emissions by up to 80 percent compared to nonrenewable fossil fuels.
The most important step in the process of getting a solar panel system is to choose the type of panel that is best for your needs. There are three main types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film.
Monocrystalline panels are made of silicon wafers. The wafers are p-type (positive) or n-type (negative) in shape and have a thin crystalline structure that is essentially square. The cells are assembled together to form a flat rectangular module, usually called a photovoltaic cell, which converts sunlight into electricity.
The Benefits of Solar Panel Systems: How to Harness the Power of the Sun for Your Home
Polycrystalline panels use a more fragmented structure of silicon to produce more power per square foot, but they tend to be less efficient than monocrystalline cells. They are also more susceptible to loss of energy due to a condition known as low-intensity diselection, or LID, which occurs when oxygen traces left from the manufacturing process affect the performance of the cell.
Thin-film panels are a relatively newer technology that are able to be manufactured in thinner and more flexible forms than mono or polycrystalline cells. They can be more easily adapted for specific locations that may not be suited to mono or polycrystalline systems, such as buildings with limited space for installation.