The Different Types of Solar Panels for Your Houston Home

Solar panel example

Did you know that solar now accounts for around 40% of all new electricity generation per year? As the efficiency of solar panels rises, and costs fall, people are realizing the many benefits of solar. But do you know what type of installation is right for you?

We can assist with all your solar queries. Read on as we discuss the types of solar panels. 

Monocrystalline Panels

Monocrystalline is the most common of the solar panel options. You will often see them on residential properties. 

One of the reasons for this is their appearance. They have a black, consistent coloration which adds to the look of a property instead of distracting from it. The smaller solar parts look like squares with the edges taken off. 

Their manufacturing process is quite extensive, thus why they are the more expensive choice by a narrow margin. Each solar cell contains a silicon wafer. This is made from one single crystal, giving it its name. 

A single panel will often contain between 60 and 70 cells. A 60 cell panel is the most common for residential installations.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline panels, often known as multi-crystalline, are slightly cheaper than their mono counterparts. Their appearance is different in that the small square panels do not have cut edges. This makes them look like a whole grid with white lines crisscrossing it. 

They have a blue coloration in their panels. Some people do not like this aesthetic look, and thus opt for the mono versions. They are also marginally less efficient than mono panels. 

The manufacturing process is slightly different between them both. Once a crystal is placed into molten silica, the whole vat of silicon cools as one. This can cause multiple crystals to form with a blue saturation, giving them their distinctive look. 

Thin Film

Thin-film panels are the most unique of the solar panel types. They do not come in traditional panels, but lightweight and flexible rolls that are without the normal cell definition. Because of this, they are very easy to install. 

Unfortunately, they are the least effective of the solar panels. This means they are really only viable for large operations, where a lot of energy can be harvested. 

They have a number of manufacturing methods, and as such can come in a wide range of panel types. This is dictated by the substance they are made from, such as amorphous silicon or cadmium telluride. 

Types of Solar Panels Cost Comparison

In general, monocrystalline panels tend to cost the most. This is because of the complicated manufacturing process. However, part of this increase in cost is also because of the high-grade parts in them, increasing their efficiency and power ratings. 

Polycrystalline panels are cheaper than mono, but only by a small margin. They were the most used in residential properties, but this was overtaken by monocrystalline. For many consumers, the added value is worth it because of the increase in efficiency. 

Thin-film solar panels are the cheapest of the three. They do also have the lowest efficiency ratings. They are great for large-scale commercial products where more panels can collect more solar energy, but less so for smaller residential ventures. 

The easy installation process for thin-film also brings the price down. However, as poly and mono installations come down in price the low efficiency of thin-film will soon not make financial sense. 

Performance Comparisons

Of the three types of solar panel options, monocrystalline panels have the highest efficiency rating. As they are made from single crystals, electrons can flow easier through their makeup. They also less space to reach the desired power out level. 

This means that if you only have a smaller area to place panels in, then monocrystalline is the best method. They may cost more, but they will produce more power with a smaller number of panels. 

After this come polycrystalline panels. Their makeup makes it harder for electrons to flow through them. However, higher-quality panels of this nature can almost match the efficiency of lower-level mono ones. 

The quality of these panels is also increasing. As technology improves, they're getting even closer to matching the efficiency of mono panels. 

Thin-film has the lowest performance rating of the three. Because of their ease of installation and flexibility, they are mainly chosen for larger projects. However, as prices come down on other panels, big projects with thin-film will soon not be that far in cost from poly and mono prices. 

Choosing a Houston Home Solar Panel

The sun-drenched climate in Houston makes solar panel installation an effective way to save money. Why would you not want to cut down on electricity bills, while helping to lower your carbon footprint? With the prices of solar panels now at affordable levels, the initial outlay is often much less than people imagine. 

Thin film is not really cost-effective unless you are installing on a large installation. This makes monocrystalline and polycrystalline your best methods. 

Monocrystalline is the most effective and does not cost an awful lot more than polycrystalline. However, poly is still cheaper and is advised for those on a budget. Once you have decided between these, you should speak to a solar installed in Houston to discuss which brand will work best. 

It is worth noting that the price of all solar panels, and installation, has dropped substantially. Solar will cost a lot less than you think, and you can be saving money from the first day.

Choose a Professional Installer

When discussing the types of solar panels, contact a trusted, local installer. Check online for recommendations and speak to others in the area. They may be able to give you tips on who you should choose. 

Your first stop for solar energy should be Texas Direct Solar. We are a family-owned Texas business with experience and expertise. Contact us here for a free quote, and let us get some sunshine in your life starting today!

Contact Texas Direct Solar today to know the next step you need to take in the journey to sustainable power. 

(Just click the button below)